Four years ago my oldest sister died, drunk and alone in a hotel room. She died at the hands of a saboteur. This vandal convinced her that change, healing and restoration was not possible and stripped her of her dignity and hope.
My sister was at the mercy of a formidable foe, alcohol. Some might say she was afraid of failure I disagree. I think that my sister was more afraid of success.
If you are like me, you’ve probably uttered the phrase, “I have a fear of failure.” This makes sense. No one knowingly sets him or herself up for failure…that would be pretty twisted right?
But for many, we do the very thing we do not want to do. In Romans 7, Paul paints a good picture of what it looks like to wrestle with desiring to do good, but being unable to carry it out in his own flesh.
“18 For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.”
Our thoughts and behavior is often driven by our past mistakes, broken relationships and sinfulness. We try so hard not to fail, not to get hurt again and not to be disappointed, that we thwart our own success.
I think this is especially true for those of us who have the dubious distinction of having been deeply wounded at the hands of another.
Whether divorce, abuse, neglect or abandonment – we often allow our past to dictate our present and our future. By operating out of our weakness we undermine our own happiness and fulfillment.
Growing up, I received the message I was not enough. Not smart enough, not good enough at sports, not pretty enough, not worth the effort. I replayed those words in my head hundreds of thousands of times over the years.
Eventually the lies became so familiar that they actually sounded like the truth and I began to live out the lie.
There were times when I would actually sabotage my circumstances in order to have my life line up with the lies that were masquerading as truth. I would undermine a relationship, create dissatisfaction in a job or simply negate what I knew to be Gods truth about my identity in Him.
I want to encourage you friends. If you are struggling in an area of your life that has you believing that you are powerless and change is impossible, there is hope.
Sin is sin and no one sin is more grievous another. The enemy would have you believe otherwise. Perhaps you struggle with pornography, alcoholism, infidelity, lust, theft, gambling, gossip, over eating, verbal abuse or spiritual laziness. Maybe you yell at your kids, talk behind your co – workers back or wrestle with road rage.
Regardless of the issue, we can take comfort and encouragement in the fact that we serve a risen savior. God is trustworthy to deliver us from our sinfulness and restore us to Himself. He is our advocate, redeemer and friend. He wants the best for you, are you ready to believe that?
What is it in your life that whispers to you that you are beyond, help and hope?