Have you ever failed at something? Of course you have. We all have.
You didn't learn to walk without stumbling and falling. You didn't learn to ride a bike without some skinned knees along the way. In fact, it's highly likely that your first attempts at most new things failed. Failure is usually a part of learning, growing, of developing abilities and skills.
While it's easy and acceptable to embrace failure when it comes to new learning experiences, we often struggle to get past other forms of failure — failed judgment, failed relationships, failed assignments, failed business. These often leave people with crippling shame and haunting regrets.
There's no doubt that some failures are more costly and serious than other ones. It's also true that certain kinds of failure should be conscientiously avoided. We should never nurse a cavalier attitude about moral and character failures. We should never take lightly the impact of choosing sinful and evil actions over godly and good ones. These mistakes hurt God, us and others. They often carry significant consequences, and rightly so.
So how does a person handle serious and significant failure? What should their response be to the life mistakes and messes they make? How does a person deal with the consequences of their mess-ups without becoming emotionally defeated and spiritually destroyed by them?
They must get up and get going again! While the consequences of certain failures have to be understood and appreciated, and messes have to be handled, staying down does no one any good. Rising up, receiving God's forgiveness, seeking forgiveness from others and forgiving oneself is the way to turn things around.
The only one who wins when someone stays down is the devil. He loves to pound people with the ugly parts of their past. He specializes in grounding people. He's a master craftsman when it comes to condemnation. He sells folks the lie that it's all over. He tries to make your failure final.
Many people in the Bible failed. Did you know that the great Apostle Peter failed miserably? The guy that walked on water messed up! When Jesus needed him the most, Peter denied Him, not once, but three times!
After Jesus rose from the dead, He went to Galilee and found a despondent, defeated Peter, restored him and got him going again. Not too many days later, after being filled with the Holy Spirit, this same man — Peter — preached the first recorded message of the church and three thousand people gave their lives to Jesus Christ. (See Matthew 26:69-75; John 21:1-17; and Acts 2:14-41.) That's a major turn around! Jesus helped Peter get up and get going again.
Someone once said, “I'm never down. I'm either up, or on the way up!”
If you've fallen down, don't stay down. Get up and get going again!