Posted by: mikenicholsblog | October 29, 2017

“… the kiss of Jesus.”

Tomorrow, we will finish the tenth month of another year. So much has happened in those ten months. There have been some good experiences and some “not so good” moments. We would all like to bask in the good and forget the “not so good” … i.e. our failures. But life doesn’t work that way, and our failures are great opportunities to acknowledge our weaknesses and rest in the forgiving grace of God. Are any failures from this year still haunting you?

I’ll rewind to the fall season almost 30 years ago on a Saturday evening. We had been out with another family for the day, and I was just relaxing after returning home, sitting on the floor in our family room. Our daughter Lindsay was still very young and chose to write something on the side of my face. What should have been fun for dad was getting annoying … and it hurt. So with great spiritual insight (yeah, right!), I asked her what she was doing. She was writing, “I love you” on my face. Can you imagine how dumb I felt?  Far too often in life we find ourselves making quick decisions, snap judgments and, in a word, failing others and ourselves.

Because of selfishness for my time, I almost missed a scene that I remember vividly to this day and that I will never forget. Can you remember moments with your family, friends or colleagues where you sensed failure? It could have been in what you said, didn’t say, or just a selfish reaction. If you are anything like me, it is easy to see where you have failed yourself, others and especially our Father. God has chosen to let us view the failures of some of His most choice servants as we journey through Scripture. Abraham likely never forgot how he failed Sarah by lying. Moses went to the grave never entering the Promised Land because of failure. David failed morally, and Peter denied Christ. I think it is fair to say that failure will always be a part of our lives. How then should we view our failures without excusing them?

In thinking on this question, two statements come to mind that help me with perspective. I trust they will encourage you as well. In his book, Failing Forward, John Maxwell used words from Mother Theresa that I have never forgotten. She said that “failure is the kiss of Jesus.” Her words remind us that we are weak and need grace from our Lord.  With all the demands of our families, jobs and sometimes even churches, it is easy to become self-consumed and eventually wound those we love. But when the inevitable failure occurs, we are reminded of our weakness and long for His kiss.

Another quote that has remained with me for many years comes from the song, “We Fall Down” sung by Mark Lowry. In the song, these words are stated over and over: “saints are just sinners who fall down and get up.” They may sound funny to you, but those words are comforting to me. Christ-followers are going to fail. After all, we are sinners. But when we fall down, we get up and keep going. Again, if we look at Scripture, some of God’s great servants failed but moved forward in His grace. “Saints are just sinners, who fall down and get up.” Don’t let any failure keep you from getting up and living with joy.

Through the first ten months of 2017, I am sure we’ve all had some failures. Those failures certainly cause regret. We have failed and will fail again. However, if we let yesterday hinder us or tomorrow causes fear, we lose today. Look at your failures as “the kiss of Jesus.” Always let falling down be an opportunity to get up. And remember that our God is full of grace and mercy.

So then, since we have a great High Priest who has entered heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to what we believe. This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin. So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.
Hebrews 4:14-16 (NLT)


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