Daily Thoughts, July 14, 1999
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“And I’m telling the story of God Eternal, singing the praises of Jacob’s God.” Psalm 75.9

Carrying a reputation of producing the right results at the right time, consistently, is important to me. As I look at my friends, I find they share this characteristic. The foundation for this reputation is a combination of hard work, perseverance, and an obsession with completing the task at hand. Anyone can do this once; it is doing it day in and out, for big and small things, that makes the reputation real.

Failure is a part of everyday life. Baseball batters are ecstatic when they fail two thirds of the time, and business goals are routinely set for people beyond their reach. We usually flip between sides of the coin: pessimists looking at failures, optimist at success. Depending on your temperament, and preferred style of working, dealing with failure will range between very difficult and a nonevent.

The challenge comes when a personal value, reputation for delivering, conflicts with failure. Various Psalmists acknowledge this in their God dialogue. “I was beleaguered and bitter, totally consumed by envy”, and “I was totally ignorant” are statements reflecting a self-knowledge of failure. Accusations towards God including “You walked off and left us”, “Why don’t you do something?” and “On your feet, O God – stand up for yourself!” put blame anywhere but where responsibility should be, with self.

Failure is a part of everyday life. If we accept the axiom that results are not important, rather it is you motive and effort that is, then we need to rethink what failure is and means to us. So what is a relevant failure for you and me? What can we do about it?

Every act or decision not based on faith in Jesus is failure. God always sees us through the robe of Jesus’ death on Calvary so we are perfect in his eyes. Failure is merely reflecting who we are. The solution is always the same; fall back into God’s arms – acknowledge who we are and who he is. Something will always happen.

July 13, 1999
July 15, 1999