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It was not my finest moment.

We were running behind on Tuesday evening. Kristen had one of the four boys and I had the other three. For whatever reason, the boys didn’t understand that we were late and we needed to be in the car 10 minutes ago. Kristen called my phone, wanting me to grab some papers from upstairs. It felt like it was about 100 degrees outside and my hands were full of stuff I needed to bring with me.

In that moment, while holding a fresh cup of hot coffee, the storm door slammed shut, striking me in middle of my forehead and leaving behind a small gash with a steady stream of flowing blood.

Now comes my not so fine moment… I took my hot cup of coffee, threw it on the sidewalk and promptly yelled out a four-letter word in the front yard, right in front of my kids and my neighbors.

Next came the dagger in my heart from one of my kids. “DAD! WHY ARE YOU CUSSING, AGAIN?”

Ugh… Again. I had lost my temper more than once in front of my kids in the past few weeks.

I am a failure.

Do you ever have moments when you feel like a total failure? Moments when you know you let down your kids? Or your spouse? Or your parents? Or… God?

I certainly felt this way on Tuesday. This was not that “one time” I got angry and lost my temper 10 years ago. Last time I checked, I am still a follower of Jesus, a husband, a daddy to four boys, and a marriage pastor at an incredible church. Yet in that moment, I felt like a total failure. What kind of model am I for my kids, neighbors, and friends?

  • So much for “Follow me as I follow Christ.” (1 Corinthians 11:1).
  • So much for “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” (Proverbs 22:6).
  • So much for “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.” (Ephesians 4:29).

Responding to Failure

Just a brief question for you today: how do you respond when you fail or mess up?

  • Do you beat yourself up, mope around and throw yourself a pity party?
  • Or maybe you just ignore it and pretend it never happened?
  • Do you excuse it by saying things such as “to err is human,” or my sin could be so much worse?
  • Or, do you own your mistakes, confess them to others, apologize, and ask for forgiveness?

My friend Lance often says people are looking for living examples, not perfect examples. I continually realize, every day, that I provide a living example for others. My kids, my wife, my friends, and those I lead in ministry are watching in flesh and blood a living, far from perfect, example.

At the same time, I always hope I respond in the way the Perfect One would respond. I want to respond in the same way the Author and Perfector of my faith responds (Hebrews 12:2). I want to act like Jesus. In this way, after sin, I can say, “Follow me as I follow Christ” in the way I respond.

The redeeming part of my coffee-throwing, explicative-filled story is the make-up conversation I got to have with one of my kids later that night. I took some time to talk about my sins to him, apologize, and ask for his forgiveness. It turned out to be a sweet conversation and time of connection with my son.

In the middle of my repentance, I am reminded of the incredible, freeing truth of the Gospel we find in Psalm 103:12: “as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us.” I am reminded of how grateful I am for the Truth that my sins do not define me and that God can use what I/man intended for evil to ultimately lead to something good in the end.

Again, I leave you with a simple question: how do you respond when you fail or mess up? I hope that you and I both can remember we are to be living examples, not perfect examples, and that we can help redeem a messy situation when we humble ourselves, own our mistakes/sins and ask for forgiveness.


This blog was republished with permission from:

Scott kedersha

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