Failing is different than being a failure.
“John, you’re so good at trying.” – Moira Rose
To fail is the inevitable and reoccurring result of being human. There is an important difference between failing and being a failure.
Thinking of oneself as a failure is the embracing of a false narrative that ignores or misses one’s true identity in God.
“I can’t do anything right.” = false narrative
“I’m so stupid.” = false narrative
“I screw up everything I set out to do.” = false narrative
“I’m a failure.” = false narrative
I have to push back against this false narrative in my life. I’ve failed in so many ways and so many times that it is easy for me to identify as a looser, poor excuse of a Christian, a failure. However, my friend Henri Nouwen, (Life of the Beloved) has helped me see my true identity as being “The Beloved of God.”
Do yourself a favor sometime. Get out a concordance, or find one online, and search for all the times the word “beloved” comes up. You will discover two things. First, Bible authors often referred to their readers as “beloved.” And, Bible authors often reminded their readers that they were the beloved of God.
You may have failed as a parent, but you are the beloved of God.
You may have failed as a wife or husband, but you are the beloved of God.
You may have failed in some area of addiction, but you are the beloved of God.
You may be a pastor and have failed to grow your church, despite having tried all the things the “experts” have told you, but you are the beloved of God.
You may have failed in developing a consistent devotional life, but you are the beloved of God.
You may have failed at imitating Jesus to the people around you, but you are the beloved of God.
Stop the false narrative. You are not a failure, you are the beloved of God. And even if you fail at stopping the false narrative, you are still the beloved of God.