Anonymous asked a question:
I feel like I just keep failing God. I feel like I’m constantly disappointing him and that I will never get my walk with him right. I’m really starting to question and wonder if I’m worth the trouble I’ve caused him and if I matter to him. I didn’t know who else to tell but I’ve read your posts and you are so kind and respond so humbly so I wanted to ask for some help. I really just don’t know what to do anymore.
Hey dear friend, thank you for reaching out with such honesty. I’m very sorry for what’s happening and I’ve been there.
I think the main thing is that you cared enough to message a stranger like me, and that’s already awesome & commendable. I also think you’re being awfully hard on yourself. Our default setting is going to be messy, full of mistakes and outright sabotage — so any kind of “right living” is a crazy miracle, as miraculous as birth. Please don’t judge yourself on an unfair parameter. God doesn’t, either.
I hope that instead of looking back over a “pattern” or anything like that, you might be able to tackle each day, as they say, a day at a time. It sounds like a platitude, but many of us grade ourselves on the last few weeks or months in a row — and if you self-criticize on such a myopic scale, you’re always finding that you “should be better” and “ought to know better” and “I used to be so much better.” It’s way too critical, and impossibly illogical.
Of course, we should do everything we can to stop certain things and start other things, but it begins by almost not paying attention to “how much” we’re getting better. We can only improve the moment we quit grading our improvement and simply move on with it. It’s as C.S. Lewis says, that to make a good impression or good art, you care less about making it good and simply get there.
And you know, you’re probably doing better than you think. The Christian life isn’t a one-shot deal and then “it’s over.” It’s not all done in a day. It’s full of setbacks and head-shaking disbelief at yourself. That’s okay. That’s part of it. The journey is painted in steps, and though we cannot see the mosaic all at once, we must trust the God who holds the brush and makes us into something new, line by swirling line.
I don’t mean to blindside you with a Bible verse, but Philippians 1:6 tells us, “Be confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Until we see God with our own eyes, we’re works in progress looking towards perfection. We’ll always feel that itchy gap between who we want-to-be and who we really are, and the moment that matters is when your own mess-ups can drive you towards God instead of hiding from Him.
I’ve learned that when I mess up with a friend, I try to find them as fast as I can to talk it out and apologize. I see the hurt in their eyes and what my action did to them. I do that because I realize I want to be better, not out of obligation, but because I truly love my friend. I don’t delay or hide or wait it out. I have to settle it. I think God wants the same thing. That’s all 1 John 1:9. Even at our worst, we can go to Him and He wants that more than anything.
I hope I have not sounded too condescending or like I know more than anyone else. I really don’t; I’m learning, like we all are. As you recall you are truly loved, no matter what, His love will bring you to the place of change where you need to be.
The important thing is that you want to grow, and sometimes that’s the best God does in us for the day. And the day after that.