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Our Saviour Lutheran 56 Cleveland Dr. Croton on Hudson, NY 10520 

Not Being Afraid to Fail

This week, I shared a story of one of my ministry failures. When I have talked about failing in something, such as this weekend, I get a typical response- “don’t be too hard on yourself” or “it all worked out in the end.”

While I am completely aware these statements are coming from a place of love and comfort, I also know they come from a place of never wanting to admit failure.

I can admit when I was wrong and I can admit when I failed, but I have not always been like that. There was a perfectionist drive within me which wanted to cover mistakes, make excuses, or comfort myself and justify myself even though I was completely in the wrong. We are all kind of raised that way as Americans, aren’t we? To fail is a sign of weakness and we never want to show weakness.

Here is the funny thing though, think about almost any of our Biblical heroes. Think of the women and men we placed upon a pedestal and taught/learned about in Sunday School. Let’s start with a big one- Moses!

We know Moses freed the people through the power of God, campers sing “Pharaoh Pharaoh” which talk about all of Moses’ triumphs, and we think about his greatness because we were taught he was great.

If you read his narrative in the Bible though, it shows as many failures and shortcomings as much as it shows triumphs. Moses’ narrative (after his baby one) begins with him losing control and murdering an Egyptian slave master, even though Moses himself is in the nobility. It is why he runs.

When Moses is called by God, he resists with every excuse he could possibly think of.

He often gets angry and upset with his people and regularly wants to just leave them in the desert. He takes on too many tasks and is yelled at by his father. The biggest one of all- he never makes it to the promised land. We tend to forget that part. He is allowed to see it, but doesn’t make it, his successor does.

Moses uses his faults and his failures to learn and grow, but each one of them is left in his Biblical biography forever. Our Biblical heroes were defined by their failures as much as their triumphs.

To me, it became an important lesson. It isn’t easy to admit failure, but it is so freeing to do so. I messed up and look I survived and God still loves me in th
Pastor Justin Johnson
Our Saviour Croton on Hudson
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Our Saviour Lutheran Church · 56 Cleveland Dr · Croton on Hudson, NY 10520-2751 · USA

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