God Does NOT Describe You As 'A Failure'
I am mentally and emotionally exhausted. Going from a high-achieving high schooler to a high-achieving college student to....a recent graduate who is unemployed and feeling the burn of "So have you found a job yet?" After a day of answering this question a few too many times, I was drained. Emotionally done for, I was quick to attach 'failure' to my personal description. Here I was deciding that because I was four weeks post-grad and I was a failure because I had yet to land a job sure to wow any and all spectators.
Get it together, Lil.
After my pity party had come to an end, one of those painfully true Jesus slaps occurred in the form of a conversation with someone else. We were talking about how the Lord calls us beautiful, beloved individuals that belong to Him! I then realized how wrongly I was labeling myself.
The Lord uses many words to describe His children. 'Failure' is not one of them.
That does not mean we will not fail. In a sense, I have failed in my job search thus far. I say that without a desire to be pitied -- the jobs I applied for have just not fit. But that failure does not make me a failure. There are two different senses of the term. One implies an incident. The other implies a state of being. While we may fail in some situations, failure is not our sense of being.
The Lord describes us as justified. Following the statement regarding humanity's failure in regards to sin, Romans 3:24 says: "And justified by His grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus." In other words, God tells us that we are loved so much - so much more than our humble minds can process - that Jesus was sent to take our punishment. We are justified.
The Lord describes us as new. 2 Corinthians 2:17 tells us that because of our belief in Christ we are a new creation. When I hear this, I think of words like 'fresh' and 'clean'; full of the ability to make the most of an opportunity.
The Lord describes us as righteous. Romans 6:18 discusses how believers are "free from sin and are now slaves of righteousness." The term slavery here does not indicate a negative state. Instead, it claims a new mindset, one that is also used to describe Abraham, Moses, and Jacob. We are no longer dirty, overwhelmed with our sin. Instead, we are made with the ability to be better due to the truth we now understand through the Gospel.
The Lord describes us as called. In Ephesians 4:1 Paul urges believers to "walk in a manner worthy of your calling." Believers are called to bear witness to the world by proclaiming the Gospel's message in both word and deed (Matt. 5:16). The Lord does not just stop caring after we've accepted the grace He freely gives us - as believers we have a calling to share the same Good News that saved us.
The Lord describes us as heirs. In Romans 8:17 says: "and if children [of God] then heirs - heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with Him in order that we may also be glorified with Him." I'm not sure how much experience you have in regards to inheritance, but to be an heir means you are an individual of significance to the individual deeming your heirship. Hebrews 11, the "hall of faith" if you will, after discussing men and women who had showcased great faith in their life, states: "And all these, though commended through their faith, did not receive what was promised, since God had provided something better for us, that apart from us they should be not made perfect" (v. 39).
God has called me many things, but 'failure' is not one of them. I am imperfect, but I am saved. The Lord will provide for His children far greater than they imagined, and my perpetual state of "So what's next?" will soon be answered with His plan. I wish to encourage you in this truth: You are saved from your sins, a new creation with the opportunity to express truth and grace, deemed righteous, called to share Good News, and promised something better. You are not a failure. You are a child of God.