Failure doesn’t disqualify you

Jesus calls us to love one another. What’s more is that he provides himself as an example to emulate. “As I have loved you, so you must love one another” (John 13:34).

Since he would lay down his life for us, that’s a pretty tall order! We are summoned to self-sacrificial love.

Today I’m here to give you some encouragement: Even though you will fail repeatedly, know that your failure does not disqualify you.

This is just good to name. When you fail—and yes, we all fail daily—that doesn’t mean you’re not a follower of Jesus. It means you are totally dependent on the grace of God. None of us are moral all-stars. We stand in one hundred percent need of our heavenly Father. 

Let me provide an example.

Peter often serves as the spokesperson for the other apostles. In John 13 he says to Jesus that he will lay down his life for him! In response, Jesus says: “Very truly I tell you, before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times!” (verse 38)

That would have been devastating to hear. But it’s true. In Jesus’ hour of great need, Peter distanced himself from his friend and denied knowing him—not once, not twice, but three times.

You’d expect that Peter would disappear from the scene, disgraced and discarded. But no. Look up John 21:15-19. There we find a conversation between Peter and the resurrected Jesus. He invites Peter to look after his sheep (meaning his people), and re-invites him to follow him. In short, despite Peter’s failures, he is given another chance, yet again. In fact, he is given a leadership position in the church of Christ!

Is that something you need to hear?

We will fail repeatedly, but this doesn’t disqualify us.

When you stumble and fall, seek forgiveness, ask for help, and start again on the road of love.


–Bible study podcast: “Love one another: the meaning of Jesus’ new commandment.” Click here, or subscribe to ‘The Pulse Podcast with Matthew Ruttan’ on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, TuneIn, Amazon Music or Audible.

–Bible quotes are from the NIV.

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