Gospel Resiliency

PACE. Plays after critical errors.

Owing to the fact that I am the only female in my entire household, I have learned far more about sports than I ever imagined I would. Most of the time, the sports facts I hear go in one ear and come right out the other; however, every once in a while, a sports fact gets laced into the way I think.

One of the determining factors for the strength and maturity of a team is a study of their response to critical errors such as turnovers, interceptions or own goals. As such, the play following critical errors is often more significant than the play in which the error occurred.

If, after a perceived failure, the team is able to regroup and move forward, they are considered mature and resilient.

I have a strong propensity to perfectionism that the Lord has been chipping away since He grabbed me up and drew me from the domain of darkness and into the light of the kingdom of His Son.  I see it being played out in my oldest son who is a chip off the old perfectionist block. One small mistake, a missed math problem or a grade less than a sliver less than superlative for him, an erroneous email or a sub-par Bible study for me, and we begin to crumble. Our shoulders droop, our hearts sag, and we are tempted to paint the rest of the day in dark colors. I know it sounds dramatic, but this is the reality of a recovering perfectionist.

Then the Lord reminds me that He is growing my gospel resiliency, little failure by little failure, miscommunication by miscommunication, miss by miss.

I am slowly learning to measure my spiritual maturity not on perfection and performance but on my response to failure.

Am I quicker to remember that I am loved no matter the scoreboard? Is my heart drawn closer to the Father who loves me even in my mistakes? Am I more able to bounce back and continue through the rest of day under His unalterable approval?

King David grew in his gospel resiliency after his epic failure with Bathsheba. Although it took him many months and a clever conversation with a concerned Nathan to own his sin, when he did, he repented into the arms of a redeeming God. Even though he had no grounds for such bold confidence that a just God would be merciful through the Cross, he failed forward into a gracious God.

Purge me with hyssop and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones that you have broken rejoice. Hide your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Psalm 51: 7-10. 

By God’s grace operating in my life, I am often quick to know my sin and to name it; however, I am much slower at being confidently restored to my Redeemer. I tend to make my mishaps, my missteps and mistakes large in my own my mind and heart. My slowness to receive forgiveness is rooted in an underestimating of the size of the Cross and the sure-footing it gives us in our failures. I think my failures larger than the Cross, which goes to show how little I understand the enormity of the Cross.

In those moments, God slows me down and reminds me that He is growing my gospel resiliency, my ability to see myself and the Cross in more healthy proportions.

May we become people who fail forward and keep PACE with the Spirit within us.

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