Monday, January 5, 2015

New Year: Resolve to Forget Your Failures


Happy New Year!
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Chuckle: A preacher overheard a little boy cursing. He stopped and gave the boy a dime and implored him not to use "those words" again. The little boy replied -- "Preacher, I've got a two-dollar word on the tip of my tongue!"
Quote:  “Look not back on yesterday; So full of failure and regret.  Look ahead and seek God’s way . . . All sin confessed you must forget.”  --Dennis DeHaan quotes
FORGET YOUR FAILURES
    "Forgetting what is behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on towards the goal for which God has called me heavenwards in Christ Jesus"  (Philippians 3:13-14 NIV).
As you look back over 2014, I'm sure you can come up with a list of what you would consider as failures in your life.  You may have failed to restore a broken relationship; failed financially; failed to faithfully love and honor your spouse; failed to be a Godly parent to your children; failed to honor your parents; failed to be a loyal friend; failed to share the love of Christ with someone when you had opportunity; or failed God by letting a pet sin control your life.  In our passage, the apostle Paul gives us some good advice. God does not want us to become prisoners of our past failures.
We must realize that everyone fails.  Peter failed his Lord miserably when he fled, along with the other disciples, from the Garden of Gethsemane (Matthew 26:56).  He failed again when he denied Jesus by saying he didn't know him (Matthew 26:69-75).  James 3:2 NIV tells us, "We all stumble in many ways."  Isn't that the truth?  "There is not a righteous person on earth who does what is right and never sins (makes a mistake)" (Ecclesiastes 7:20 NIV).  "For all have sinned and fall short of God's glorious standard" (Romans 3:23 NLT).  I heard about a preacher who said to his congregation, "Let's bow our heads and pray for our falling shorts!"
Failure and defeat are as much a part of life as success and victory.  We all make mistakes - fumble the ball - mess up.  It's not "if" but "when" we fail.  As you reflect on 2014 and identify what you consider as failures in your life, remember that dwelling on the past will discourage you from moving into the future with confidence in what God has in store for you.  The new year is an ideal time to ask God's forgiveness for your failures, and then forget the past and move on.  Don't brand yourself a failure, but say, "with God's help, I'll forget my past and stop torturing myself about it."  You cannot change the past and to dwell on past mistakes will sap you of needed energy for the future and rob you of the joy God wants you to have.  Obviously, we should learn from our failures but not allow them to take us prisoner.
God often uses our failures to get our attention.  He wants you to learn and profit from your failures.  On the cross Christ died so that He could forgive your sins/failures.  Receiving God's forgiveness allows you to forgive yourself and forget past. The new year marks a new beginning -- a perfect time to accept God's forgiveness, forgive yourself, and look forward to 2015 with anticipation, joy, and thanksgiving.
Love, Jerry & Dotse 

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