Fail.

1 Apr

Have you ever seen the funny pictures on icanhascheezburger or failblog.org that just have the one liner “Fail.”

Here’s one if you don’t know what I’m talking about:

A puppy chewed the book corner…the book’s title is The Art of Raising a Puppy.

Fail.

I think these things are hilarious.

Sometimes I feel like you could take a picture of me and put the same one-liner on it: Fail. Especially when it comes to the Christian life.

I realized yesterday as I was praying in the morning (or at least what was my half-hearted pathetic attempt at praying) that I am hung up on what I consider to be the qualifications or requirements of the Christian life.  I keep thinking that a “good Christian,” one that is relying upon God and desiring to be like Christ, one who is full of zeal and passion and energy, will do things like spending hours in the Word and prayer daily, volunteer in their community, serve at church, care for the elderly and sick, share the gospel with every person they come in contact with, exude joy and confidence in Christ 24/7, and always react out of self-control and gentleness. And since I’m not doing any of those, or at least not to the caliber I imagine this ideal Christian does, I am worthless. I am not living my life like a Christian. Instead, I am wasting my life.

This is how I feel.

So you can imagine that I feel like one big FAIL. The picture of me could show a glimpse of the Bible, with the values and ideals that I claim to be my own, and then show what my real behavior is like: instead of being selfless and humble, I am selfish and proud. Instead of being gentle and kind, I am agressive and inconsiderate. Instead of living in the truth of God’s love, I look to the world for the definition of my self-worth…and the basis of my self-loathing.

I also realized yesterday that I have a hard time dealing with failure. In that I don’t deal with it. Instead, I shut down, go on autopilot, with a constant cry of self-pity and desperation in my heart. I get overwhelmed at what a failure I am. Instead of feeling like I am just failing in one area of my life and that I can work on it with the Spirit’s help, I feel like my entire life is one big FAIL and I am collapsing under its weight.

Grace would seem to be the answer. God doesn’t require perfection from us, because He knows we are incapable of it. But here’s the other thing that hangs me up: grace leaves me with my life as it is. If I accept that I am a failure and God loves me anyway because of grace, if I accept that I don’t “have to” do anything to earn His favor, doesn’t that mean that I accept my life as it is?

But then, if I am discontent with my life because I think it doesn’t meet God’s standards, and yet He tells me that there no longer are standards because I am clothed in Christs’ righteousness, what happens to the basis of my discontent? Is it not based on lies? Is it not based on self-imposed rules and obligations? Am I not drowning in a sea of my own making?

I am waiting for God to save me from myself, waiting for Him to sweep down and set me on the solid rock of the life I want to have. But instead, I feel like I’m at the bottom of a well, able to see the light of day but having absolutely no ability to get to it. God must lower the bucket for me to climb out.

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