“Lord, I’m such a failure!”
I had already spent way too long listing everything that was wrong with me and everything that was wrong in my life, when I tearfully blurted out the words.
I wasn’t expecting a response from Jesus, but I got one anyway.
Really, in whose eyes?
I was a bit startled. I stammered a reply, “Well, in my own, I guess.”
Played right into his hand. His next words were gentle, but hit the target dead on.
Then quit looking at yourself.
Well, okay then. When God himself crashes your pity-party, it does tend to bring things to an abrupt halt!
I was grateful for the interruption. I knew his response wasn’t so much a rebuke, as it was a reminder. A reminder to keep looking to him–because he alone is the Source of my identity. He alone is the One who evaluates the overall success–or failure–of my life. And he made it quite clear he saw things differently than I did.
I’m so glad.
Where I see failure–he sees progress. Where I see inadequacy–he sees dependence upon grace. Where I see loss–he sees opportunity. And, most importantly, where I see outward results that seem to fall short over and over again–he sees my heart.
If my perspective is distorted, then I want to know his perspective. What is success in his eyes? If success in the eyes of heaven isn’t measured by outward circumstances, possessions, or results–how is it measured? If earthly failures don’t disqualify us from heavenly success, what is it that qualifies us?
I think it all comes down to one word … love. Because his love never fails.
The good news is we don’t have to initiate this love–he already loved us first. We don’t have to try to “out love” him–it’s impossible, he demonstrated the unfathomable depths of his love for us long before we ever looked his way. We don’t have to try to sustain love in our own strength–we can’t, apart from him we can do nothing. But there is one thing we do need to do …
We need to receive his love. It takes God to love God. And it definitely takes God to truly love others. We can’t give away what we don’t have. He loves to love us … we need to let him.
Want to be a smashing success in the eyes of heaven? Immerse yourself in the love of God. Let him lavish you with his love. Let him refresh and restore you with his love. Remain in his love. Absolutely everything else flows from there.
Because his love never fails.