Reading for Today: Proverb Chapter 24
Verse 16: “For a righteous man may fall seven times and rise again, but the wicked shall fall by calamity.”
Many have heard the story of how our 16th President, Abraham Lincoln, had many failures in his career, both public and private. Although somewhat familiar to many, I have included a few of these so-called “failures” for the sake of discussion.
1831: Lost His Job
1832: Ran for state legislature - lost.
1832: Wanted to go to law school but couldn’t get in.
1833: Borrowed some money from a friend to begin a business and by the end of the year he was bankrupt. He spent the next 17 years of his life paying off this debt.
1836: Had a total nervous breakdown and was in bed for six months.
1838: Sought to become speaker of the state legislature - defeated.
1840: Sought to become elector - defeated.
1843: Ran for Congress - lost.
1849: Sought the job of land officer in his home state - rejected.
1854: Ran for Senate of the United States - lost.
1856: Sought the Vice-Presidential nomination at his party’s national convention – did not get enough votes.
1858: Ran for U.S. Senate again - lost.
In 1860 he successfully ran for president of the United States of America. Although the validity of some of these so called failures leave room for debate, much of them are undisputed. What is also undisputed is the determination and passion he had for his duty and his country. I really enjoy watching American football, but for those of you that like soccer or maybe hockey, consider this - of an entire soccer or hockey game, the puck or ball seems to make hundreds of trips back and forth across the ice or field without ever making it in the goal. There are failed attempts over and over before a successful attempt finally pays off. Why is it that we can appreciate the efforts of these athletes that fail so often and yet we go to great lengths to avoid even the possibility of failure?
Today’s “gold nugget” reminds us that, “a righteous man may fall seven times and rise again, but the wicked shall fall by calamity.” I can’t deny how many times I have failed the Lord. Whether in ministry, family or business, I have made errors aplenty. For some reason, I refuse to allow my failures to prevent me from pressing on. I have been on several diets throughout the years. I would lose a little weight and then gain it back. Over and over this happened. Every New Year I would resolve to change my habits and get in shape. Although I have failed to continue in it several times, I always hold to the perspective that had I not ever tried to lose weight, just how fat would I be today? I lost a few pounds again recently and hope to lose some more, but if I fail along the way, what have I lost by trying? Oh, wait. I know… a few pounds. Let’s try and learn from our mistakes, but refuse to let them sideline us.
Lord, I know I have failed you on many occasions. I have failed my family, my church and myself. I will not fail to try again. I want to be the righteous man that will rise again and again. I have resolved to serve you for the rest of my life. Amen
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The fear of failure can often rob us of a blessing or even someone else. For me to fail is often me trying to do things on my own without the Lord's help, I trust that the He will lead me on to greater things, but first i must get up. "Iron sharpens Iron"ReplyDelete
So true, so true! - "Iron sharpens Iron"ReplyDelete