Monday, 30 August 2010


Something i recently published in the church bulletin:

Failure is necessary in Christian growth
Actually that’s not completely true, Jesus did indeed increase in maturity (Luke 2:40) without ever failing – in the sense that He always trusted His Father.

However, for the rest of us, who are riddled with sin, failure is necessary. We fail in our Christian service because we don’t know the love of God from eternity past. Sin means we naturally rely on ourselves, we always think we can do it – or even – we think we can’t do it. Faith means we put all that reliance directly onto Christ and He’ll tell us whether we can or can’t do something.

When Jesus’ followers faced their first solo demon confrontation, they failed miserably (Mark 9:18-19). Jesus doesn’t accuse them of being incompetent, but faithless – worse still, a perverse generation. They didn’t rely on the Holy Spirit for help – they did not cry out to Him, and worse, they were trying to gain glory for themselves (Mark 9:34) – that’s the perversion.

Failure in our Christian service is necessary because it exposes the sin within us. If we don’t serve, then we are content to sit in our sin-bubble, our little realm where we are in total control of everything we do (or so we think). The minute we actually step out to serve Jesus, we always fail - sin is revealed. Then we are left with the choice of returning back to sin-comfort-zone or deepening our relationship with Jesus (Mark 9:29).

If we long for maturity as Christians in whatever is left of 2010, then we must begin to serve Him wherever the need arises, whether we think we are competent or not – especially in ministries that involve dealing directly with other people. Yes, we are going to fail – but the kingdom of heaven is not a meritocracy… it is a kingdom of grace. That means we can have the confidence of growing through failure, because our God is our Father who loves us and will guide us through.

So then in Zion Bishan: Let us serve and fail - then come to Jesus and serve again. In our community of grace, we must reflect the grace of God that allows failure, so that growth may result. We walk people through the mistakes that they’ve made – the sins that have been exposed, and point them back to a faithful and forgiving God – for healing and growth to begin.

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