Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Successful Failures by Martin Wiles

God can use you even if you have a sordid past and don’t have your act completely together at present.

I made the statement when speaking about religious lies. Following the lecture, one gentleman commented; “At one time I thought I had it all together but I forgot where I put it.”

Being “together” was a compliment in my generation. A together person was cool, drove a souped up car, frequented bowling alleys and had habits and an appearance the older generation didn’t appreciate. I’ve never assumed I had it together. If I tried, someone would say, “But what about the time…”

Peter thought he had it together, imagining he could “walk on water.” He was the most faithful disciple and even questioned where Jesus told him to fish. He was ready to die for Jesus-or so he thought.

Peter’s self image crashed loudly. He followed at a distance after Jesus was arrested, and when questioned if he knew him, said; “Woman, I don’t know him”(Luke 22:57). But Peter’s failures weren’t permanent. Following the resurrection, Jesus met the disciples on the beach and told Peter to quit letting his failures define him. He wasn’t a fisherman any longer.

Failures are only permanent if we let them be. God doesn’t require perfect pasts or presents to use us. David labeled himself a murderer and adulterer; God said he was a man after his own heart. Actions are important, but desire and intent are more so.

Skeletons are just that unless we raise them up. Don’t let the failures of yesterday keep you from success today. God’s forgiveness is unlimited.

Prayer: Lord, when we’re tempted to say, “I can’t,” focus us upward and tell us “We can.”