Am I A Failure?

Photo Credit: Erika Glenn

Photo Credit: Erika Glenn

Our understanding of God affects our understanding of His forgiveness.

If you have a weak moment and you break your fast, should you resume the fast or discontinue it?

I’m reading a book called the “The Fasting Edge” and in it, Pastor Jentezen Franklin shares the story of a young pastor who worked at his church.  The young pastor was new to fasting and didn’t think he had the strength to complete a 21-day fast.  The young pastor started the fast but on day 14, he caved  and ate a hamburger.  In the eyes of the young pastor, he had failed and he felt defeated. However, to Pastor Franklin, he had done his best. When the young pastor informed Pastor Franklin of the hamburger he ate, his response was one of the love. He said “you did your best.”

I love Pastor Franklin’s response because it illustrates how God sees us.  Fasting is no different from any other thing we do to honor God.  If we make a goal to stop gossiping, and we end up gossiping about someone one day, we wouldn’t say “awww man, guess I’ll just be a gossiper for life.” No, we would acknowledge our weakness and try not to gossip again.  We would have confidence that God accepts us in our weakness, and we would continue in our efforts to live for Him.  The same principle applies to fasting. The Word of God says “a righteous man falls seven times and rises again” (Prov. 24:16).  He gets back up because He knows there is no defeat or failure with God. He gets back up and he tries again because He knows that God is a loving and a forgiving God.

If you are fasting today and you have succomb to a hamburger, pop (also called “soda”), or any other food that is not on your fast, I encourage you to call yourself righteous and get back up again.  In your eyes, you may feel like a failure but in God’s eyes “you are doing your best.”  His love for you has not decreased and His approval of you has not changed.  He still loves you with the same everlasting love.

We think times of weakness are a time to feel sorrow.  However, God knows that times of weakness are the best times to rejoice because it shows the enemy that God is still in control. The enemy of defeat and failure is counting on you to stay down and feel like a failure–but not God. God sees you as a victor, a champion and an overcomer. No matter how many times you fall in life, always know that it is possible to get back up and try again.

There’s nothing in the world that you can do to remove God’s grace from your life.  If you’ve struggled to accept forgiveness for past mistakes and failures, make today the day of change. Each day, challenge yourself to accept God’s forgiveness for one thing that you’ve been holding onto.

In all that you do, always remember what God says “I have loved you, my people, with an everlasting love.  With unfailing love I have drawn you to myself.” (Jer. 31:3).

When you fall, get back up. You are not a failure, you are the forgiven.



  • Courtney W.
    January 20, 2014

    Beautiful post. God looks on our heart and sees our efforts. I love the song Indescribable, where the lyrics say, “You see the depths of my heart and you love me the same. You are amazing God.” He knows we are imperfect people yet He chooses to love us, and our imperfections, until we can grow into He has called us to be.

    • ErikaTheEncourager
      January 20, 2014

      I love that song! It’s a great illustration of God’s love for us. God already knows the areas where we are weak, that’s why He asks us not to lean on our own understanding. If we lean our ourselves, we’ll always feel like a failure. It would never make sense to us that we can be loved in our weakness; but when we lean on Him for understand, we learn that there’s nothing we can ever do to fall from His grace or love.

  • Roselyn
    January 20, 2014

    Am I a failure? You are right Erika we are forgiven. The devil delights in our fall and failures. The beauty is when we realize we have fallen it’s God speaking to us, and telling us to focus on our rise. By realizing our failures, isThe Holy Spirit within us acting as the pin that pinches us, to make us aware that we have gone astray. 1 Corinthians 10:13 No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it”. When we are able to realize we have done wrong, let’s RISE UP and FOCUS on reestablishing our relationship with God and not focusing on the fall. Let’s focus on the Rise and not fall!!!

    • ErikaTheEncourager
      January 20, 2014

      Amen! Like you said, God always provides us with a route to walk away from the temptation. I think the more that we draw close to Him, the more we’ll remember this in situations of temptation. We don’t ever have to stay down because we have a God who’s there to pull us right back up! Amen to your post!

  • challenyee
    January 21, 2014

    Erika, your post made me think of how as forgiven people we are free to fail , but fail in ways that are pleasing to God. The image that comes to mind is if we fall.. Fall forward in the path of righteousness so at least we’re making progress , albeit sometimes flat on our face….so to speak.

    • ErikaTheEncourager
      January 21, 2014

      Amen Challen! I like “fall forward” because that’s the direction God leads us each time that we fall. =)

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