Spiritual Failure

How do you deal with your spiritual failures?

  • Despair?
  • Self-condemnation?
  • Self flagellating?


  • Confession: “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)
  • Acceptance of His grace: “If Thou, Lord, shouldst mark iniquitieswho could stand? But there is forgiveness with Thee, that Thou mayest be feared.” (Psalm 130:3, 4)
  • New determination: “A righteous man falls seven times, and rises again.” (Proverbs 24:16a)

How you choose to deal with your spiritual failings probably has something to do with your view of God, either as a condemning Tyrant, or as a loving Father.


Here’s how Francis of Sales, a Seventeenth Century mystic handled his failings:


“Well my poor soul, here we are in the ditch again – in spite of our earnest resolve to stay out of it.


“Ah well, let us get out and be on our way; and we will do well enough, God helping us.”


Unless we comprehend and appropriate a measure of His grace amidst our personal struggles with sin, we will despair of the Christian life. Those pilgrims who end their spiritual journey well have learned to drink freely of that grace. How about you?



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