When You Fail

For a righteous man may fall seven times and rise again, But the wicked shall fall by calamity. – Proverbs 24:16 NKJV. 

The NIRV (The New International Reader’s Version) puts this as: “Even if godly people fall down seven times, they always get up. But those who are evil trip and fall when trouble comes. 

While I was a probation and parole officer I conducted and wrote many pre-sentence investigations of people who had been convicted of a crime or crimes. This was usually performed prior to the sentence or penalty for their crime being given. I have interviewed murderers and murderer accomplices, armed robbers, burglars, embezzlers, alcohol and drug related offenders and probably more that I don’t remember. It was not always a pleasant task talking with them and their victims, along with digging into their life histories with every tool available. 

I want to mention this because by committing a crime or crimes they were societal failures. Most of those that I interviewed you would consider to be broken people. Their spirits had been broken, and many had little hope left for anything good in their lives. After they were sentenced by the court, I would have the ones not going to prison under supervision. While investigating them, and during the intake process I always tried to determine their spiritual condition. Those with a relationship with God were always more successful in completing supervision and restarting their lives. 

Too many times I have seen people who have committed a moral failure in some way and are unable to face the consequences of it commit suicide. I do not remember any of my clients doing that and there is a reason for that. The reason is that all of them had reached a point where they had realized what the worst thing would be as a consequence of their actions and had decided that they could live with those consequences. 

There are so many things that can happen in our lives that sometimes make it hard for us to keep living. I believe that decision to live is always easier to make when we have a relationship with the Lord. Not all of those heart-rending things are the result of a crime or necessarily even a sin. Early in my marriage I was laid off from three jobs in a period of about a year. It was difficult to go home and share that with my wife even though she always supported me. 

After the last one of those three job layoffs, I was without work for several months while my wife began to work again. We were living in a mobile home on my parent’s farm and our oldest son was still a baby. I was emotionally depressed and that is something that my Mother had been hospitalized several times for while I was in high school and later my sister was also hospitalized for depression. 

During that difficult emotional time for me I read through the New Testament for the first time and God gave me strength. God gave me the strength to continue on with life and to make the right decisions of what to do from that point. 

I have done some things in my life that I am not proud of, you could call them sins. How many have I committed, I have no idea. However, I know what to do in order to rise up again. I fall upon the mercy of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. 1 John 1:9 tells us what to do, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 

No matter how bad the situation may be in your life, no matter what your failure may be, God can give you the strength to go on, to continue to live and to live life well. Please allow God the opportunity to do that for you!

(What to do when you experience failure.)

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