Have you ever fertilized your lawn with manure? I haven’t, but I have certainly smelled it when a few of my neighbors have tried it. I hear that manure really greens your lawn and is excellent for strong roots and growth. That got me thinking about today’s topic—things that make our spiritual maturity GROW, and the “faith grower” I picked today is a lot like manure.
1. This method of spiritual growth stinks really really badly—especially at the time!
2. But most of the time it produces big results!
Failure as Fertilizer!
I don’t know about you, but I am an expert at failing. No, seriously, I think one of my spiritual gifts is the gift of failure. The trick with failing is to fail in the right direction.
Sometimes when I have failed at things I have fallen backwards to even worse failures. How about you?
Sometimes when I have failed at things I simply repeat the SAME failure over and over again—expecting different results. Sound familiar?
However, most of my failures have eventually lead me to a place of learning from my mistakes, growth and maturity. Here are a few important things to remember about failing in the right direction.
1. Failure is not a person it’s an event. If you have failed at something, and we all have, the mistake is believing that YOU are the failure. You are not a failure but maybe you have failed at certain things you have tried. Learning from our mistakes is one of the most important parts of being human.
2. Failure in the right direction all depends on your attitude. One of the great stories surrounding Thomas Edison’s invention of the light-bulb is that he failed more than 1,000 times at getting his invention to work. When asked about the failures, as the story goes, he allegedly said, “I have not failed 1,000 times. I have successfully discovered 1,000 ways to NOT make a light bulb.”
3. Failure is pushes us to admit we need help from friends, family and God.
4. Failure helps you to be humble and to not take yourself too seriously.
Listen, failure at times can have serious implications. If you use too much manure, or the wrong kind, on your lawn it will burn your lawn and possibly kill your grass. I am in no way trying to minimize the reality that our decisions carry consequences to them. However, I want to tell you today that God is bigger than your failures and wants to use them to bring you closer to Him.
Zacchaeus the Tax Collector
1 Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through. 2 A man was there by the name of Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was wealthy. 3 He wanted to see who Jesus was, but because he was short he could not see over the crowd. 4So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see him, since Jesus was coming that way.
5 When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today.” 6 So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly.
7 All the people saw this and began to mutter, “He has gone to be the guest of a sinner.”
8 But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.”
9 Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. 10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”