Friday, October 12, 2012

Looking Good in the Cheap Suit of Failure

If you found this blog because you too are a failure, you're in good company. I am a huge, EPIC FAIL. But, God still loves you and has a plan for you, so don't give up yet. Turn to Jesus, and He can do anything, even succeed in our failures.

Let me lay out my credibility as a failure, so you can see. I'll go through the many ways i've failed, and try to balance that with what God has done. I don't want to complain, but, i need to lay out some history so i can tell about how God redeemed the failures.

Since i turned 16, i've been working. Early on, and even in recent years, i've been pleased, perhaps prideful, that i can hold a job and earn money. It didn't take long to find out that ain't always so.

Throughout the past nearly 2 decades of work, i have failed almost as often as i "succeeded". And some of those "successes" were barely so.

My first job was at McDonald's. Hard to get canned there, so i left on good terms. My second job in manufacturing was also good, though in both cases i was occasionally in the hot seat as a trouble maker.

My third job, and perhaps one of my favorites, was as a baker, another thing hard to mess up. No one bothered me, i loved it. Ah, but my fourth job, thats where things started to go south. (Or north if you're from the south, and going north is a bad thing)

I was fired from a warehouse for productivity issues, not wholly my own fault. I was physically not strong enough, and on the team of biggest screw-offs and reprobates there was. Around here is when i gave my life to Christ. God tested my faith here. I struggled with some things immensely at this time. Still, God kept me from being given over to it wholly and i think He showed me that i can fail despite doing my best.

From there i interned in IT, but, when a job became available, i was not given it. Still, i left on good terms and was always told i did an awesome job. After that, i was sort of fired/laid off from a bank job doingIT/furniture moving work. It was sort of a temporary thing that had ended, but also, they didn't like me much. That puts us at 2 firings, 4 left on my own for something better.

I'd take those odds. Believe me, i would.

Job seven found me doing in-store computer repair work for a major chain. I was never trained, nor assigned any work to do. I quit, but, during my notice they told me not to come back. A draw i guess. Job eight, i was a TA temporarily for a semester and quit on my own.

Job nine, phone tech support, fired for anger issues really. That was an absolutely poor witness for Christ, but during that time i grew alot and also suffered alot. The Lord really dealt with a few issues here, and also got me involved in church. As a baby Christian, i learned a lot about life and the Church.

God did alot during that time. He helped me control finances to an extent. He also purged me of most of my anger. The worst parts anyways. In retrospect, i also see this as a great lesson in spiritual warfare and growing in wisdom. God really moved here.

I believe at this time, He also showed me that "normal" church ministry and involvement wasn't for me, though i tried to fit. I was involved in 2 ministries here. Teaching high school seniors and planning events for the singles ministry. But both efforts fell flat for a variety of reasons probably because i was doing them on my own power with minimal prayer and relying on God.

Job ten, manufacturing again, but i was fired for a mistake and really fired more for lying about it. Job eleven found me doing customer service again, but, God really grew me here and also provided a TON for me (money and school). I did well for most of 5 years actually, and even almost enjoyed it. Until management became draconian and gave us whips of scorpions. Then, i left before they could fire me.

During that time, i had my faith crisis and got back into UFOs, then restored back to faith and right relationship with Christ.

Job twelve, is current as a business writer (in line with my major where i graduated with honors because of God's favor) This one is about to become a failure, and has been since the beginning. I was never really trained, and my boss gets mad even with my best attempts.Even so, God has helped me in amazing ways in my work, as well as learning about myself and issues that need to be fixed.

He's showed me a lot about myself, that will help me find the right fit and be more effective for His kingdom.

So in these failures of work, i'm still trying to learn what God's trying to tell me with 45%-50% termination rate. But i can tell you that during these failures, God has helped me. He has provided for me with jobs and money when i didn't deserve it. He gave me a free college education and allowed me to graduate with honors. He's allowed me to nearly achieve a long standing dream, and i feel He is giving me signs that the dream will be achieved.

what else can i say?

Throughout all of my failures and struggles, whenever i have turned to God, He has helped me. Not always in ways i wanted or expected, but He was always there. Further, He has always grown me. He has also allowed me to meet many really interesting people.

But overall, He has used all of these struggles and failures to glorify His name by redeeming me through Jesus Christ and drawing me ever closer to Him.

My most recent job failure has shown me that i am a total failure, and that anything good that comes from my life is both God's gift, and God working through me.

David Wilkerson said in his book "Have you felt like giving up lately?" (A book every Christian and every failure should read):

"God delights in using men and women who think of themselves as unable to do anything right...a person who knows that if anything good happens through her, it has to be God. All the hotshot Christians who go about bowling people over with their great abilities never impress God."

Think about that a moment.

Find me one "hero" of the Bible who wasn't a failure in some way from a human perspective:

Jacob was a cheat and a liar

David had great accomplishements, but, had great failures too. But when he failed, he acknowledged it and repented.

Moses had doubts and made excuses when he received his call. He gave into anger as well.

Samson...'nuff said.

Paul was shipwrecked, arrested, beaten and so on. He considered himself a wretch, doing what was wrong and not doing what was good.

Even our Lord Jesus, at first seemed to fail. His three year ministry ended in His death. From human eyes, He failed. But, He rose again, through His power as God the Son to redeem that "failure" and it became a victory.

So when the storm clouds gather, when you fail. Turn to God. Read and pray the psalms. Tell Him your concerns. No one loves you more. No one has done more for you. No one can do more for you. The Lord will direct you and use your failure for His gain. Jesus rose victorious from the dead! Put your faith in Him, and your failure can be redeemed. You can be redeemed!

1 Corinthians 1:27 - 30

27 But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; 28 And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: 29 That no flesh should glory in his presence. 30 But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:

Ps, good psalms to read for "failures".

Psalms 46, 12, 29, 37, 145, 17, 86, 142, 120, 56, 71, 35, 7, 39, 145, 38, 15, 19, 25, 6, 63, 133, 111, 49, 91, 11, 33, 109, 223, 5, 41, 56, 59, 25, 32, and 48


  1. Sounds like you have come to grips with your struggles, but let me flip this on its head to provide a word of encouragement to you and to anyone reading. Are you really a "failure"? I can tell you from someone who also has failed in business and moved from job to job, that the metrics for success for God looks NOTHING like the metrics for the world.

    So are you failing in the world or are you succeeding for Christ? Which would you really prefer at the end of the day? Keep looking up brother and we'll carry our pink slips to the gates of Heaven.

  2. I know the feeling of life's ups and downs being a proving ground for our faith!

    I think a better measure of our success is in how we treat others. Are we as harsh with them as we are on ourselves?
    We shouldn't be. We need to learn to love ourselves the way God loves us, and to love others the same.

    Success by the world's standards means nothing to me anymore. If we have our daily bread, that ought to be enough. Too much or too little can cause problems. Who needs the newest car or the nicest house on the block? These things are going to all pass away.

    It's time to come out of this world more and more.

    Our "success" as you rightly said is in the Lord and His victory is ours also!
    Putting His will above our own is to be our joy. Not in having what the worldly self wants.

    I pray you continue in that kind of success and keep growing in faith, and that goes for all of us.


  3. Thanks for putting it out there. Very few of us admit it with the intention of learning from our failures. Most of us fall into two other categories: We either DENY our failings, and pretend they didn't happen, or ADMIT them to the point of defeat.

    God bless :)