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  • Writer's pictureWindrush

Failures don't define us


I have the amazing opportunity to coach my 10-year-old son's baseball team.  After a recent game, I was asking Micah what he did well and what he could improve upon for next time.  I have tried to do this often to get our kids to evaluate and continue to grow, but what always surprises me is how easy it is for them to name the things they didn't do well.  The mistakes, failures and lapses in judgment seem to be front and center.  "I struck out.  I walked too many guys.  I didn't field that ball as well as I could have…"  I want to just squeeze his little face and tell him not to miss the wonderful things he did do, and the ways that he grew as a player and as a human in that game.  I want to remind him that he's so much more than how he performed in his baseball game, but there is usually a resistance to hearing that, and certainly believing it.


It's so easy to see that in a child as a parent, but the reality is that it's a human condition and one that doesn't easily go away.  In fact, I'd say that as we become adults, all the reminders from the world and from the enemy of our failures, mistakes and traumas tend to compound and build.


So why do we go to the negative things first?  Whose voice points us to that?  And why do we have such a hard time believing the Voice of Truth, the one who created us and loves us more than we can even comprehend?  I love the question by poet Charles Bukowski, "Can you remember who you were before the world told you who to be?"  We care so much what the world thinks of us.  We are told who we ought to be, and it seems even harder because everyone else around us seems to have it more together than we do. 


I am still trying to figure this all out and certainly don't pretend to have any answers, but I do feel like the only way to work through this is by having an experience with Jesus.  I don't think we can ever just will ourselves to change on our own, or to just stop believing lies that we've believed, or stop getting our identity from our failures.  When we look at God, looking at us with a smile on his face, it changes us.  When we slow down and tune into hear His voice whisper to us, "You are so loved.  I am so amazed by YOU.  Let's work through this together and let me remind you who you REALLY are. Not the failure or the sin or the trauma—that doesn't define you."  This has the power to heal and change us but it’s a process and usually doesn’t change overnight.  And as I write this, I am really just reminding myself to pay attention, and tune into that gentle voice.  It's harder to hear amidst the world, the enemy and a lot of mistakes that have accumulated, that God thinks so highly of me and you and sees us as His amazing creation that is so deeply loved and is constantly being redeemed.


Matt


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