I suppose most of us have had times in our lives when we came up short of expectations. For various reasons, we did not do our best. There usually follows a period of explanations and excuses. We engage in the ‘not my fault’ narrative trying to lessen the disappointment that we feel in ourselves and others may feel about us.
An old saying fits this situation: ‘A poor workman always blames his tools.’ How difficult it is for us to accept responsibility for or actions, especially if we are not pleased with our performance. We must be forewarned that making excuses and blaming someone or something else, if it becomes our modus operandi, is very destructive. It can have a devastating effect on our own mind and heart. When we fail to take responsibility, it creates anxiety and insecurity.
Learning to accept responsibility is a must if a person is to be successful in life and intends heaven to be their home. Accepting personal responsibility is taking ownership of our own behavior and the consequences of that behavior. Until we accept responsibility for shortcomings and failures, it’ll be very difficult to develop self-respect or to have the respect of others.
It’s a simple truth that all human beings, young and old alike, make mistakes and poor choices. So, you should first understand one thing: You’re not the first person (nor will you be the the last) who has fallen short in the personal behavior department from time to time. The following steps for dealing with failure to meet expectations are Biblical and redemptive:
- Face the situation head-on without excuses such as, It’s not my fault, I’ve had a string of bad luck, if I was older/younger/richer/smarter/single/married/better educated/better connected, etc., this wouldn’t have happened to me.
- Realize that simply saying ‘I’m sorry’ does not automatically restore confidence.
- Acknowledge your failures with heartfelt confession and true repentance. “For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death” (2 Corinthians 7:10, NKJV).
- With the help of the Holy Spirit, don’t repeat the action. John 8 relates the account of a woman caught in adultery that was brought to Jesus. The law demanded that she be stoned. What happens in this verse must be taken in its full context. Jesus does not tell the woman, “You did nothing wrong.” He does not say, “Don’t worry about what you did.” Instead, Jesus simply states that He does not condemn her—which in this context refers specifically to stoning her for this particular sin. He also explicitly tells her not to commit this sin anymore. This incident is often misapplied by those who think Christians ought never to speak out against sin. The exact opposite is true: Jesus showed this woman incredible loving grace, while still firmly calling her adultery what it was – ‘sin’ and a moral failure which must not be repeated.
Prayer: Lord, help me to accept responsibility when I fail and with Your help to rise above the situation.
~ Brother Roy