#29 Failure. "For we have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God." [Romans 3:23]
Well....I have to admit something. I will not get to 40 devotionals by the time of Easter. I am at 29 - and there is only a few days left until Easter. Now, I can tell you this - I will get to forty - but it will be after Easter that I finish.
This fact, and some other things happening in my life have led me to this subject matter - failure. I must admit something to myself - I, in and of myself, am indeed a failure. Morally and otherwise. To quote the famous Apostle Paul, "I do not understand what I do...the good I want to do I do not do - no the evil I do not want to do, this I end up doing!" I speak when I should be silent. I am silent when I should speak. I find myself too often a failure.
And reading books nowadays concerning righteousness simply makes me feel all the more of a failure. I read a book the other day where a pastor was writing that he had said a swear word because something fell on his foot - and that sent him into a depressed tailspin for a week. One swear word. Now, I am not legitimizing a curse - the Bible is very clear on this subject matter. We should only speak those things that are fitting the calling we received. Yet, having said that, if one swear word sent me into a tailspin [and I rightly realize that even things thought are as guilty as those things said] ....well....then I would have crash landed a long time ago.
What I mean by this is that even the books written in Christian bookstores I find do not often address my problem. They talk about failure - and they talk about what I would consider, "minor" things. When I talk of failure I talk of pride. I talk of anger. I talk about the secret things and motions of the heart that you do not want to share with anyone. And when it comes to things like this - I am a failure. I too often find myself always looking at things and how they affect me personally instead of how they affect my neighbor. I too often find myself quantifying what I do and measuring it against what others' do. Now, I am smart enough to know how bad this is so I do not often act it out - but inwardly I know that it is there. Inwardly, I know the old man in me is simply itching to get out. Inwardly, I know I am evil. I know I am a failure. I know I can do nothing on my own.
Now, what do I do with this failure? Do I quit? Do I run? Do I hide? Do I pretend that I am a success - even when I am a failure? What do I do? I confess. I admit. I readily acknowledge. And then I lay the load of dreck that is mine and lay it at the foot of the cross.
Maundy Thursday is coming up. Good Friday is coming up. I recently put a BC cartoon on my wall detailing why they call the beating, whipping, flogging, murder of Jesus, "good" friday. They call it good because He took my place. It is not lip service from me to say I really do indeed deserve what He took. I, like the thief that hung next to Jesus on His left can readily admit, "We are receiving our punishment justly...but He is hanging innocent." I believe this - not only because the Scripture says it - but I truly feel and know that it is so. I am guilty. He is innocent. He took my place. He is good. He is victor. I am failure.
And the joy comes here - He has given me His victory. This love - this matchless love - is understood by me most when I truly get a glimpse into my soul - recognize what is truly there - and know I am forgiven - because of Good Friday. Amen.