Tuesday, 10 January 2012


This morning I was in the WORST mood. I had only been awake for 10 minutes before I began failing for the day.
When I awoke, I was feeling great! I read a page from a daily devotional book as I lay in bed and felt amazed by Gods goodness and grace to us. Then the failing began.
1. Weightloss fail:
 I weighed myself and found out in the last week that I have not lost any weight. I only have myself to blame... after all a few extra snacks had worked their way past my self-control over Christmas! The worst part is, I have been boasting in the last couple of weeks about the number of kilos I have managed to shed, and now with no weight loss this week- my pride taking a harder hit than the scales.

2. Craft fail:
 My mood lowered from Fail number 1, I went to check on a project that I am working on. I am making some invitations for a friends baby-shower and had done 1 practice invitation last night and left it to dry. When I looked at the ribbons that were meticulously glued to the card, I found out that the glue that I had used had seeped through the ribbon and dried there, ruining the effect of the ribbon! OH! NO! I don’t know what other glue to use that won’t have this effect! What will I tell my friend? Will she be mad with me? And after boasting to her about how many times I have made invitations and scrapbooks and crafts, and how they always look good! D’OH!
3. Baking fail:
 Ok, by now I’m just getting mad. Seriously! I think to myself If one more thing goes wrong, I’m going to lose it for sure! I walk into the kitchen. I need to cut up some slice that I made last night. I have made up a recipe for this chocolate ginger slice for a visitor I will have this morning. She’s an older lady from my church who I respect alot, so I went to a special effort last night to make sure that the house is super tidy and that there would be home baking for her. I always get nervous when older women come to visit me because they are usually amazing homemakers and I don’t feel like I always measure up. I desperately wanted to impress this lady with my amazing baking/housewife/mothering skills. With this in mind, I pull the chocolate slice out of the fridge. As I start cutting it up, I realise the chocolate has not set. The slice begins to fall apart in my hands. I cry angry tears and dump the whole lot in the rubbish bin. What will I give my friend now? Theres no homebaking! How will I show her how good I am? What will I tell THE MAN? I told him that when you have as much baking experience as me, making up new recipes is easy! Now look at me?! Noone will be impressed by me. Today is a write-off. I am a total failure. I wish I could go back to bed and try again tomorrow!
Maybe you are reading this and you are thinking ‘this girl is a freak. She just needs to chill out. Who cares?’. Your right. I shouldn’t care. These things are trivial. Weight? Ribbons? Baking? I know they dont matter- So why am I so inappropriately upset?
To discover the answer to this question, you need to look at the root cause rather than the trivial symptoms.
1. Weight fail = I get positive attention when I am able to say how much weight I have lost. People are impressed. If I am no longer losing weight, who can be impressed by me.
2. Craft rail = I get positive attention when I am able to show off my amazing craft skills. People are impressed. If I can’t do this job well, my friend will not be impressed by me.
3. Baking fail = I get positive attention when people tell me what a good baker/homemaker/wife/mother I am. If I can’t do these things well, my friend will not be impressed by me.
The big problem is that I want people to be impressed by me. I want people to like me and think that I am good and wonderful and I want them to want to be around me. Then I do lots of good things to make this happen. I rely on the good things that I do to get the result that I want.
Christian writer and theologian Tim Keller says in his book Counterfeit Gods that this is idolatry. “What is an idol? It is anything more important to you than God, anything that absorbs your heart and imagination more than God, anything you seek to give you what only God can give.”
The good things that I do, like losing weight, making invitations for a friend, or baking for a visitor can become bad things if I am relying on them to give me only what God can give. What God so graciously showed me through this mornings failures is that I rely on what I can do for love and acceptance from others. There are two major problems with this:
1. I fail at it.
The bible says that ‘noone is good. Not even one’ (Romans 3:10). I cannot persuade people to think I am a good person, a good wife, a good Christian etc if I am not. Are you a good person? Do you do all of the things you are supposed to do? Have you ever in your life lied, cheated, stolen, or become inappropriately angry? Have you ever been jealous? Have you always put God first in your life? If you answer negatively to even one of these questions, then you are just like me. We are NOT good people. WE are failures. And all of our attempts to convince other people how good we are will be a lie. And the worst part is, our failing has worse consequences than people not liking us. The bible says that the punishment for all our failings is an eternity in hell.
2. God is the only being whose opinion matters, because God is in control of our eternity. He decides who goes to heaven, and who goes to Hell.  When we use our good deeds as bait to get people to like us, we are in fact seeking the approval and acceptance of those whose opinion doesn’t matter. God’s acceptance is the only acceptance we need.  A big mistake that we make however, is that we try to use the same methods to get God to like us as we use to get other people to like us. We try to make ourselves more acceptable to God by doing all kinds of good deeds. But God says that ‘even our good deeds are like filthy rags' (Isaiah 64:6), because we are still relying on what we do to get Gods acceptance.
So if God’s acceptance is the only one that matters, and we fail in our attempts to use good deeds to gain His acceptance.... how do we get it? How do we get to heaven?
God understands that we will always fail in our attempts to get to heaven based on our good deeds. So He sent someone who would live life on earth without ever failing. Jesus never failed once. He never did the wrong thing, or had a selfish motive for anything. Because Jesus lived a perfect life, he did not deserve punishment. We are the opposite of Jesus. We live a sinful life and deserve punishment. But Jesus did an amazing thing. Even though he was perfect and deserved no punishment, He died a horrible death on a cross. In this symbolic act, Christ took the punishment that we deserve, so that we would not have to suffer the consequences ourselves. When Jesus died on the cross, the punishment for all sinners was transferred to Him, so we do not pay the penalty ourselves. We are now acceptable to God, not because of any good thing that we have done, but because of what Christ has done.
We are accepted by God even though we fail, because Jesus never fails.
So when I get inappropriately angry about small trivial failings in my everyday life, I need to remember that God is the only being whose acceptance I need, and I can be assured that his acceptance is not based on anything that I do, but on what Christ has done for us. And you know what? I'm going to fail at remembering this too.

p.s.  LOL- I even fail at my attempt at humility! While re-reading this blogpost, I thought to myself “People who read this are going to be so impressed with my humble attitude... Wait- WHAT?! D’OH!”

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