by Glen Edward Quiring
We all fail. This is common knowledge. And we also know that failure is a part of growth. So what the big deal? Well, unfortunately, knowing this wisdom doesn't help. It doesn't serve as a lotion that makes us feel instantly better.
When we fail, what does help? In truth, I don’t know. My guess is that getting “over” failure is highly dependent on your personality.
But I do know a story that seems to encourage me.
Do you know or remember the story of Judas? Judas was one of Jesus’ trusted colleagues. He was personally chosen by Jesus after a long night of fervent prayer (See Luke 6-12-16). He was to chosen be a fully functioning member of those who would bring a new reality to Israel - to the world. And yet, not long after his choosing, Judas betrayed Jesus to the Roman authorities .
As I see it, Judas’ failure was the beginning of a much bigger failure. Jesus himself failed. What we discover in the the stories of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John is that Jesus failed to live up to the legal code of his own religion. And when he failed, his detractors and his friends, pounced. He was delivered to the authorities and prosecuted as a criminal.
We should take this observation one more step and say that Jesus didn't simply seem to be a criminal. Jesus died because he was a criminal - Judas' failure demonstrates this truth. Even Peter, the much esteemed disciple, acted on this belief when he denied Jesus. Let’s just call it; Jesus violated the code and was summarily prosecuted.
But the story doesn't end there. Those same story tellers write that Jesus was resurrected. He was elevated to a place of honor as most of the letters written to churches after his death and resurrection indicate. Jesus, Son of the Divine, was given a place of honor with all rights and privileges therein.
I too, need that deep grace that chose Judas. I need that deep grace that restored Jesus. I’m guessing that you may have failed a time or two. Perhaps you had it all and blew it. Perhaps you had nothing and gambled so that you could have it all. It doesn't matter. What the narratives of Judas and Jesus teach us is that grace still chooses you and/or restores you as a person who is valuable to yourself, to others, to God.
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