Friday, November 03, 2006

Pick Yourself Up

“Why do we fall, Bruce? So that we might learn to pick ourselves up.” ~ Thomas Wayne to a young Bruce in Batman Begins

It is no secret that Batman is one of my heroes. The movie Batman Begins I believe is the best live action Batman movie, partly because I think it captures the true essence of Batman, and partly because of some of the themes which run through the movie. One of the themes is overcoming failure. Every one of us has to deal with failure.

Failure for the Christian can be devastating. Satan will whisper in our ears that we are no good and that we don’t have what it takes to make it. He will use our failure to crush our spirits and rob us of the desire to move on. Satan isn't neccessarily looking to take us out with some big “sin.” He does want to rob us of the love and forgiveness God offers us through Jesus, which are essential to living lives of hope. By filling our lives with guilt because of our failures Satan is able to steal and destroy the life God wants us to live.

We have to accept that failure will be a part of our lives. This is not to give us an excuse to sin, but an acknowledgement that as long as we live in bodies of flesh we will be tempted by the evil of this world. Since we will not be perfect what God is looking for, and something which demonstrates our faith, is our getting up and renewing our struggle with sin.

Malcolm Smith in The Lost Secret of the New Covenant wrote:
You will fall, but you know who lives within you; pick yourself up and move on more aware of your weakness and, therefore, trusting in Him more deeply (pg. 264).

Falling should help us trust God a little bit more. When we fall it is because we put too much trust in our abilities rather than really trusting God. Falling teaches us that God's way is the best way and that He has our best interests at heart. Learning to trust God more and more leads improved obedience.

What does it mean that we pick ourselves up? To pick ourselves up means that once again we choose place our faith in God and battle the sin that we have in our lives. When we fall we either can chose to stay where we are or we can get up and follow Jesus where He leads.

You have a problem with gossip and you spent Saturday evening talking with your friends about the latest juicy tidbit after you promised yourself you wouldn’t. Don’t stay down, but pick yourself off and renew your commit to faithfully follow Jesus.

Cussing has been a part of your life for as long as you can remember. When something goes wrong you let the four letter words fly, but you know that it is behavior which harms your witness of God’s love. Don’t think you are a no good sinner whom God will never be able to use, but resolve to do better and trust Jesus a little bit more.

Whatever your sin maybe that constantly trips you up don't accept it as part of life, but declare war upon it. Struggle and fight it. Seek help and encouragement as you struggle. It is through this struggle that our character becomes more refined and our hearts become more like the heart of Jesus.

Ultimately picking ourselves up is an indication of our faith in Jesus. Through our actions we are saying that we don’t have what it takes and that only following Jesus will our lives be changed. While He never likes our sin God is excited every time we decide that we don’t want to stay in that sin as we take steps to remove that sin from our lives.It is this struggle with sin, the falling down and getting up, that helps create us to be people fit for Heaven. It shows God that we hate our sin but love Him.

Every time I fail Satan whispers in my ear; "You are a good for nothing sinner." But I am beginning let Thomas Wayne’s words echo through my heart and so I pick myself up and renew my struggle with sin. God is always pleased when I decide to get back up after a fall. It is what makes me stronger because with each fall and with each standing up comes a greater trust in Jesus and God’s love for me.

We may not be perfect, but we still have to opportunity to use our failures to become stronger. Why do we fall, Christians? So that we might better learn to pick ourselves up.

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