Defeated! Dejected! Those words seemed to sum up my life. I started out strong in my late teens by committing my life to Jesus. Oh, but then how my life became marked by failure. I felt so much older than my numerical age.Continue reading “Failure is Not a Four-letter Word”
Challenges are more often like marathons than sprints. We’re most spent as we near the finish line, and when I can’t see the end, sometimes I falter and it’s tempting to quit rather than carry on.
“God,” I said, “I’m not entering any more writing contests if I don’t win something this time.” —I almost didn’t enter, but I figured entering my article on failing was appropriate since I’m so adept at it. Besides, the road to success is often paved with failure.
The best will fail the most.
George Washington lost more battles than he won. Thomas Edison scrapped more “great ideas” than he ever saw come to fruition.
The well-played life is not about never falling.
We can’t always stop the demons from stalking us—ambushes happen. Sometimes they squeeze their way into our lives through the cracks we leave untended. Sometimes they batter down the door. Life happens. Depression, anxiety, fear, apathy, bitterness, anger, suicidal thoughts…. may show up at your house. Just don’t invite them under the covers and curl up in bed with them.
Get up! Cry out for help from God and from others. Remaining silent when we are in need can leave us alone in a crowd. Isolation leaves us open to the enemy.
“Two are better than one, Because they have a good reward for their labor. For if they fall, one will lift up his companion. But woe to him who is alone when he falls, For he has no one to help him up.” Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 NKJV
God tells us in His Word to be anxious for nothing because He knew we would at some point find ourselves being anxious. Jesus said he didn’t come to condemn but to seek and save. The Word of God is meant to show us where we are and to instruct us how to get to where we need to be.
The Word of God, prayer, time spent with with those who make us laugh and challenge us, positive spiritual things such as Christian music help bring clear vision, strength, deliverance.
“As iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend. Proverbs 27:17 NKJV
A good friend doesn’t ignore problems. Neither do they just point out the problems, but rather, they help with solutions. They walk alongside you literally and figuratively. Sometimes what’s needed is just being there and saying nothing; but sometimes it’s taking a stand and saying something. A good friend battles with you and for you. Be one. Find one.
Prayer, the word of God, and love are ultimate weapons against all we face. The love of God trumps all.
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7 NKJV
Did you notice this scripture says everything and requests? God wants us to bring everything on our hearts, not just our needs, but our requests to Him. He wants to do life with us.
I aim to use whatever the devil shoves at me against him.
“God, help me.”
Use struggle, pain, failure—to help someone else. That’s one way to win.
He teaches my hands to make war, So that my arms can bend a bow of bronze II Samuel 22:35 (NKJV)
When I can’t rejoice in my own circumstance, I find someone to rejoice with over their victory, or someone to help with their struggle. Count your blessings, one by one. Gratefulness is one of the keys to contentment, joy and peace within, and to intimacy with God and others. Gratefulness seeks to serve others. Our greatest service to others is to share Christ and the hope we have in Him, that they too can be a child of the King and make Heaven their home.
God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble. Psalms 46:1 (NKJV)
LINK TO SONG: Morgan Harper Collins— I Can’t Save Myself
“No weapon formed against you shall prosper, And every tongue which rises against you in judgment you shall condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, And their righteousness is from Me,” Says the LORD.”
Isaiah 54:17 NKJV
Seek wise counsel.
For by wise counsel you will wage your own war, And in a multitude of counselors there is safety. Proverbs 24:6 (NKJV)
Run from the shadows of the cares of this world and into the safety found under the shelter of the wings of the almighty God.
I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. John 14:18 (KJV)
Yet in all these things we more than conquerors through Him who loved us. Romans 8:37 (NKJV)
He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. Psalms 91:1 (NKJV)
Sometimes the way out is through. Jesus meets us in the midst of the raging waters and calms the storm. He will never leave or forsake us. There is joy in His presence.
LINK TO SONG: Shane and Shane— Psalm 46 (Lord of Hosts)
Light dispels darkness. So, let the Light in.
You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You. Isaiah 26:3 (NKJV)
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© 2018, 2019 Rachael M Colby Tattoo It On Your Heart
I hate commitment. It’s terrifying! Failure to keep a commitment devastates me, no matter how small. So, I shy away from it. I procrastinated all day about accepting author and writing coach Jeff Goins’s 30 day #My500Words writing challenge because I figured if I waited long enough, it would be too late to commit and then I couldn’t fail. One way to avoid failure is to not commit—just don’t take the risk. Right? Wrong.
The Bible admonishes us to count the cost, to consider if we are able to complete a task before we begin and to let our yea be yea and our nay be nay. We should have reverence for commitment, but there’s a difference between responsibly considering decisions and living in neutral. Neutral often slides into reverse motion
You can choose to live a reactive or proactive life. God calls us to action and faithful stewardship of our talents and abilities. Passivity is an action. We are responsible for the results of our indecision. We either pursue God and His call for our lives or neglect it. Inaction is an action; indecision is a decision. No risk, no gain. Guaranteed.
In an effort to feel more secure and protect myself from failure, I wrote my first 500 words before typing, “I’m in,” and accepting the challenge—at the last minute. So how did I do? I failed. I missed three days and many days I fell short of the 500 words, but on others, I exceeded it. There is a difference between failing at something and being a failure. Failing doesn’t necessarily identify you as a failure. It could just mean you tried and as Thomas Edison said, figured out many ways how not to do something, which is often the route to finally achieving a goal or overcoming an obstacle.
So, what really is the battle here? Am I afraid of commitment, or failure? Or am I just a control freak? The answer is yes. I like the sure thing. It’s not a risk if I know the outcome, can do it in my own strength, or don’t need a miracle. But if I stay in my comfort zone, I don’t need faith and if I don’t reach beyond my own abilities, I miss the chance to see God work with me, through me, and move on my behalf. My mess yielded to Jesus is a chance for God’s miracles. My obstacles are God’s opportunities.
I’m often hard on myself when I feel I’ve let myself, others, and most importantly, God, down. Even though I want and need input to grow, sometimes it’s hard to receive criticism from others because I’ve done such a good job of beating myself up. That’s an issue with Grace. God says in His Word that His mercies are new every morning.
Let your trials and failures refine you and let God define you.
Sometimes it’s the process of the struggle that builds the strength to accomplish the task. The only real failures are those who do nothing or quit at their calling.
Sometimes what we think of as failure is God’s strength and endurance training, equipping us to help others.
Sometimes that good thing for us is failure, or setback, or discipline, or faith stretched until the midnight hour—and then the victory. Pray; wait on God, and when He says it’s time to move—move.
When I depend on myself and my own abilities I fall short. The only sure thing is the Gospel. The only guarantee of success is to obey God and hitch our hearts, our hope, our destiny and eternity on Jesus. What matters is not my own or the world’s definition of success or failure, but God’s. God defines us by our identity with Him. I am His.
If God is asking you for something you can’t do then it’s God’s turn to do whatever it takes to accomplish His will and destiny for your life. — Pastor Chip Ganiear
And all that really matters is the will of God.
I’m going to fail sometimes. You’re going to fail sometimes. We will lose some battles, but I read the end of the story, and those who walk with Jesus win the war.
Pray. Persist. Prevail.
“I AM THAT I AM” beats “it is what it is” every time. — Pastor Chip Ganiear
Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. Romans 8:37 (NKJV)
We were made for Christ, to follow Him, to obey His
Word and calling, to lean on His strength and grow in His grace.
He has called me to write for Him, and so, I write.
3rd place 2019 Tar Heel Award, North Carolina Christian Writers Conference
© 2018, 2019 Rachael M Colby Tattoo It On Your Heart
His question hit me like a bucket of ice water, and it wasn’t even the subject of his blog post. The job of the preacher is to preach the Gospel, to speak truth and make us uncomfortable with complacency, with less than what God wants for us—uncomfortable in our sin. And so he did.
What a profound, thought provoking, convicting, question Pastor, but it’s too long of a list for a blog post. That’s a good question for us all to ask ourselves at the onset of the new year—or perhaps everyday.
So, time to take inventory. Have a seat Self.
Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: Psalms 139:23 (KJV)
Let God defend you. He is able.
Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; Keep watch over the door of my lips. Psalms 141:3 (NKJV)
My good friend Sue, prays, “ Lord put your arm around my shoulder and your hand across my mouth.” She’s a Proverbs 31 woman
Circumstance will circumvent your plans if you are not intentional with your time:
- Time spent in God’s Word and presence
- Time with your family
- Time developing your skill to fulfill your calling.
Let God define you.
Make priority a priority, or it probably won’t get done. Don’t let the urgent distract you from the important, as the preacher said.
Don’t allow the demons of One-More-Thing, Procrastination, Fear, Discouragement, or procrastination to derail you from what God called you to. Sometimes later doesn’t come, and too late or missed opportunity shows up instead. But if that happens, take heart; Jesus loves you anyway and meets you where you are. Nothing we do or don’t do takes Him by surprise. So, look up, get up and carry on—follow Him. He has a plan.
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11 (NKJV)
Becoming a better person is more important than doing great things. People who strive to be better end up doing great things.
Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. Psalms 51:10 (KJV)
We all fall short but Jesus is the difference maker. His mercies are new every morning. He supplies all our needs when we supply ourselves to him. Not just our physical needs, but our spiritual needs. He can turn our vices into victories, our failures into triumphs—even a ministry to others.
being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ; Philippians 1:6 (NKJV)
Oh, and I’ll talk about the actual subject of Pastor Payte’s article another time. 🙂
I’d like to invite you to read about our young friend, Alek’s, battle against Lymes disease. Please consider sharing on your social media and with friends, family and co-workers.
*Matching funds on new donations from February 1st- February 14th! Link to read his story or donate toward his ongoing treatment. the information on Lymes disease in this article by his mom is a good education on the disease and may be helpful to others battling it or with undiagnosed similar symptoms:
Click to read or donate here: https://www.gofundme.com/aleks-battle-against-lymes
© 2018 Rachael M Colby Tattoo It On Your Heart