March 21, 2012
Getting Up Again
"...though the righteous fall seven times, they rise again..." Proverbs 24:16 (NIV)
I've always admired people who aren't afraid to fail. You know the ones who don't even consider defeat when they blow it; people who see a personal setback as just another goal to conquer.
I can be really hard on myself when I fail to be the woman God calls me to be or the woman I want to be. Like the other day, when I disappointed my mom, got impatient with my husband and spoke harshly to one of my kids. Soon after, my internal dialogue (you know that voice in your head that won't let you off the hook) started reminding me of how badly I'd acted and how far I'd fallen short that day.
The greatest defeat comes when I allow my mistakes, sins or broken relationships to convince me that I might as well give up.
Perhaps you have also allowed failure to knock you down, tie you up with the ropes of regret and hold you hostage like I have.
When I surveyed over 1200 women for my book, A Confident Heart, I discovered that our past failures, and our fear of failing again, are two of the most common things that make us doubt ourselves.
But today's key verse shows us that it's not supposed to be this way. Proverbs 24:16 has helped me release the regret, guilt, fear and shame that have weighed me down and held me back.
Take a minute to read it now and notice how it says the righteous will fall. Yes, even those of us who have received the gift of Christ's righteousness and redemption will fall down. But we were never intended to stay down.
Instead of giving up, Jesus empowers us to get up again.
In getting up, we can apologize and ask for forgiveness. In getting up, we can choose to try again with our kids, in our jobs, in our marriages, in our ministries, and in all of our mistakes. Because we trust that although we fall, God will help us up.
Listen to His promise in Psalm 37:23-24 and as you read it insert your name in the blanks: "The steps of ____________ are established by the Lord, and He delights in ____________'s way. When ____________ falls, __________ will not be hurled headlong, because the Lord is the One who holds ________'s hand." (NASB)
When you get up again failure can actually help you become the confident woman God created you to be because it can make you stronger and better—when you go to God for help. Failure might even be the thing that stretched you to do more than you think you can and push you to try other methods of doing things when one way doesn't work.
Yes, failure can be hurtful, but it can also be beneficial.
Failure produces wisdom when we ask for it and maturity when we learn from it.
I think God wants us to remember that following Him is not about avoiding failures and being perfect. It's about accepting our weaknesses and becoming more dependent on His perfect love and power at work in us.
The truth is, we will sometimes fail to be who we want to be. But we will get closer to who we are meant to be every time we fall or fail and then choose to take God's hand so we can get up again!
Dear Lord, I'm so thankful for Your grace that reminds me there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Because my steps are established by You, Lord, I will believe that You delight in me even when I fail or fall. Today, I want to take Your hand and trust Your heart as You pull me back up again and use my failures to help me become the confident woman You created me to be. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
Today's devotion is based on chapter 7 of Renee's book: A Confident Heart: How to Stop Doubting Yourself & Live in the Security of God's Promises.
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Reflect and Respond:
Are there any areas of your life where you feel like you're failing and want to give up? Write down what got you to that hard place and then ask God to show you how you can get back up again (in your heart) with the help of His grace and truth.
Psalm 37:23-24, "The steps of a man are established by the Lord, and He delights in his way. When he falls, he will not be hurled headlong, because the Lord is the One who holds his hand." (NASB)
Psalm 73:26, "My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever." (NIV)
© 2012 by Renee Swope. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries
616-G Matthews-Mint Hill Road
Matthews, NC 28105