We may accept God's forgiveness, but feel that our fall has disqualified us from serving God or aspiring to great things. We may conclude that we're only fit for the kind of position in life we had before we began to hope and work for something better.
The apostle Peter started out as a fisherman named Simon. That was all he was qualified for, at least before Jesus came along. "One day as Jesus was walking along the shore of the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers—Simon, also called Peter, and Andrew—throwing a net into the water, for they fished for a living. Jesus called out to them, ‘Come, follow me, and I will show you how to fish for people!' And they left their nets at once and followed him" (Matthew 4:18-20). For the next three years Jesus trained him to "fish for souls," and during that time Peter witnessed many miracles. But then he blew it! In the end he denied Jesus. He went through three days of utter hell, and then the greatest miracle of all happened. Jesus was alive again! But Peter still thought of himself as disqualified. He started up his fishing business again. That's where Jesus found him, back in his old life. It was on that same shore that Jesus reaffirmed his call. Again he said to Peter, "Follow me" (John 21:19).
We may consider ourselves disqualified after a fall, but God doesn't. The apostle Paul said, "For God's gifts and his call can never be withdrawn" (Romans 11:29). Just because we've blown it doesn't mean that we should give up and go back to our old lives. God still has a wonderful future for us.
We only really fail when we refuse to get up and start again.
Taken from The Life Recovery Devotional: Thirty Meditations from Scripture for Each Step in Recovery by Stephen Arterburn and David Stoop. Copyright © 1991 by Stephen Arterburn and David Stoop. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved.