photo credit: Allan Ward
I laid on the carpet, my eyes trained on my bedroom ceiling. Emotions shot through me as I recalled the things I had done in the last several days. I thought of the bad: the times I disobeyed God, almost forgot Him in the heat of my emotions, or let an awkward sentence slip out. I also remembered things I did well; I thought of the compliments I received and the exciting new adventures that were filling up my summer.
My emotions repeatedly swung between shame and pride, and I soon found myself exhausted.
Right there on the floor, I began to pray.
I repented of my disobedience and even told God about all my awkward situations. I told God about the compliments and opportunities people gave to me, remembering that He ultimately deserved the glory for it all. As I told God my thoughts and surrendered everything to Him, I felt that an immense weight had been lifted from my chest.
What God Does
“As far as the east is from the west,
So far has He removed our transgressions from us” (Psalm 103:12).
God takes our sin and cleanses us, He takes our mistakes and comforts us, and He uses our embarrassment to humble us and draw us to Himself.
God takes our beauty and shows us His creativity, and He takes our success and glorifies Himself.
In lifting both shame and pride from our shoulders, He releases us from a tremendous burden.
God takes the bad: when I give Him my messy thoughts, emotions, and actions, He gives me a clean heart. He stays with me through all my failure, and His mercy overcomes my foolishness.
Furthermore, I find that just as I cannot handle my failure alone, I cannot handle my success alone. I either puff myself up by giving myself all the credit for the win or appear insecure by trying to be “humble” and undermine my achievements. I can only simultaneously acknowledge my success and stay humble if I pray about the situation and promptly give the glory to God.
How to Give Your Success and Failure to God
Pray, pray, pray. When you feel ugly, tell God about it. When you get a compliment, tell God about it. When you think something prideful, tell God about it. When you get the good grade you’ve worked for, tell God about it. When you disobey, tell God about it. He knows about your life already, but telling Him your emotions and actions will help you “cast your cares upon the Lord.”
“…casting all your care upon him, because he cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7).
Suggested: How to Enjoy Prayer
Then, glorify God. In your failure, praise God for His perfection and forgiveness. In your success, remember God’s hand in it.
Suggested: What Does Glorifying God Really Mean?
Whether you find yourself crying on your bedroom floor or celebrating on a stage, take your situation to God and then turn your focus back to Him.
How do you personally recover from failure? How do you react to success?
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Related: Run to Jesus