You may have heard teenagers say it; that was an Epic Fail. I have often uttered the words, I fail at life. I usually say that when I drop something on the floor, run into something, or can’t figure something out. I even enjoy watching those “fail” videos online. Videos of people trying to do things they shouldn’t do or even simple things they should be able to do, only to fail miserably. Everyone has struggles and failures in life all of which in one way or another are a result of the original failure inherited from Adam. It can also be a bad view of the vocations God has given us. This ultimate failure of sin will continue to have a hold on us and cause sufferings throughout life.
By no means do I wish to downplay the human spirit and the drive that people have to get things done. Just look at athletes, doctors, and the military. Sometimes it’s unreal what humans can do. God has given us so many undeserved gifts in this life. We shouldn’t ever embrace our failures in life. I would never give up on something worthwhile or good for me, myself or my family. But the fact that at 34 years old I can’t dunk a basketball like I used to in college likely has nothing to do trying harder or thinking positively. My sin and the sin of the world have taken its toll on me. I can barely touch the net on a basketball hoop now. With hard work and dedication could I dunk again? Maybe. But if I couldn’t I wouldn’t be a failure. When my failures aren’t because of sin, they are because I am going beyond the vocations God has given me.
If we have a clear view of our sin and our vocations in life then failure becomes inconsequential. This is not an easy task in the world we live in. Many people including pastors will try to pervert your view of sin and vocation. They will say “That’s not sin;” “You can do or be anything you want.” “Live your best life now!” “You can accomplish anything if you put your mind to it.” “Just be positive!” To me, the power of positive thinking is kind of well… dumb. I can try to be positive all I want. What happens when I can’t be positive about losing my job, a family member dying, or my daily failures as a husband and dad? The sin in us and the sin of this world will always overcome our positive thinking and works. Add in our evil foe the devil, who likes to keep our failures always in view and as tools to lead us into despair. It’s important to keep worldly failures and the sin we all endure under God’s law separate. Turning to God’s word as a guide to what our Father in heaven truly calls failure. Our sin which is revealed to us by the Ten Commandments is how we fail in this life.
All of our sin, lack of faith in God’s word and constant worry over our worldly failures are killed and buried. When sin comes in this life; our Father doesn’t see it. As baptized children of God through faith; our Father only see’s our risen, perfect savior. Our Father in heaven only sees his son Jesus Christ. Not only is failure destroyed by our savior, but also our sin. With Christ there is no failure and there is no sin.