I read a great passage today in Proverbs 24:16 - “For the righteous falls seven times and rises again, but the wicked stumble in times of calamity.”
I studied a little deeper and found that the word fall in the Hebrew literally means “to fall, lie, be cast down, fail.” In our culture of newer, bigger, better, the threshold for failure isn’t very high. If we’re not careful, we might find ourselves subscribing to religious perfectionism. We believe there is a standard that we are not living up to, therefore, we are tempted to quit.
We can be so dumb. The whole point of the standard (namely, the law) is to point out our inability to succeed apart from the glorious redemption found in Christ. Our sin nature is a beast. In Jesus, it has be defeated and HE HOLDS the victory - but sometimes we have short memories…and we easily forget our freedom. In these instances, we might fall. In the verse I quoted above, the text says a righteous man falls (or fails) seven times. However, a more complete understanding of the historical context would be that a righteous man fails repeatedly. This is not an excuse to continue sinning. It’s a reminder that Jesus doesn’t want your man-made, man-approved perfection. He wants your whole-hearted sincere devotion. It’s a taller order for sure. But its the real thing.
So when you fail, don’t throw it all away. Rise again. This is not an Osteen-ism. It’s not based up your own fictional self power or actualization. It’s the POWER OF THE RISEN CHRIST - ready and able to lift you once again. Why does He love you so much? Why is His grace so big? Well, you’re gonna have to take that up with Him.