Failure comes in many forms but one of its realities is that in its aftermath, those around us often define us by that failure - some forever. That often contributes to those who have experienced failure to also see themselves as defined by their past. After all, that is how others see them.
What is particularly interesting is that this often happens among Christians who would be the first to proclaim that we worship a God of Grace. We sing about Grace and mercy in our worship services and then consign some of those around us to an attitude that does not reflect either grace or mercy. Unlike Jesus who lifts people out of their ditch and encourages them to move on, our attitudes can actually keep people in the ditch and discourage them from moving on. And I suspect that there will be some readers who think that is a good thing for those who have failed.
Here is an insightful statement for those who have experienced failure.
"If you have people who want to live in your history, let them; but don't for a minute think you have to live there with them. You cannot move into your destiny if you don't let go of your history. Surround yourself with people who define you by your purpose rather than your past."
One cannot fight what others think of them. Some will always see you through the lens of your history. But you don't need to live in your history nor does God want you to! He wants you to live in your purpose and in freedom. And there are people who will define you by your purpose. Those are the people you need to bring around you.
With a repentant heart and the help of God, David moved on from his failure and was called a man after God's own heart. Moses was able to move on from his failure with time and God's encouragement and was called the most humble man who ever lived - a far cry from the arrogance of his youth. Paul said it well in Philippians 3:13-14, "Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus."
God does not want us to live in our past. He came to redeem us from our past failures. He calls us to live in His grace and freedom. Others may not want you to live there but He does so let those who want to live in your history do so. But you...move on into a new history through the grace and mercy of Jesus who came for that very purpose.
TJ Addington (Addington Consulting) has a passion to help individuals and organizations maximize their impact and go to the next level of effectiveness. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
"Creating cultures of organizational excellence."