Redeeming Messups!

I’ve been reading about King David in 2 Samuel lately & this morning I was struck by the severity of his shortfall with Bathsheba.  There are a boatload of things he did wrong in that scenario:

  • should’ve been out fighting with Joab, but he stayed home
  • secretly watched a naked woman bathing
  • continued his interest in her by inquiring her name
  • brought her to his palace
  • slept with her, knowing she was married
  • tricked Uriah, her husband
  • sent Uriah to be killed in battle

Bathsheba became pregnant after sleeping with David, their son was born sick and died after seven days.  This story is an epic tragedy full of death, pain, suffering, selfishness, deception and loads more!  It seems to me that nothing good could come out this whole mess, ever, never and in no way.

Enter Solomon.

Solomon was considered one of Israel’s greatest kings!  He built the temple in Jerusalem, wrote two books of the Bible and was one of the wisest men who ever lived.  Solomon was the son of Bathsheba and King David, after the baby died who was conceived from David’s sin.

Let’s remember that there’s no weakness or failure in our lives that God cannot redeem & make into something entirely glorious!

Messing Up

I don’t like to mess up, full stop. I used to berate myself when I made mistakes, so I would often experience shame & guilt. Maybe you have some similar challenges or know someone who struggles with this as well. Here’s some hope:
Peter – I think Peter’s greatest shortfall was when he denied Jesus, not one time but three. In Luke 22:61-62 it says, “The Lord turned and looked at Peter. And Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how He had told him, “Before a rooster crows today, you will deny Me three times.” 62 And he went out and wept bitterly.” Thankfully, this isn’t the end of the story. In John 21, we read that Jesus went the extra mile to meet up with Peter after His resurrection. They had a very powerful conversation on the beach & Peter affirms three times that he loves Jesus. Jesus reconciles where we’ve messed up. 

Thomas – good ol’ Doubting Thomas (that’s an identity I’d prefer to skip); here’s the guy that brings doubt to the party when everyone is exuberantly proclaiming Jesus’ resurrection! John 20:25, “Unless I see in His hands the imprint of the nails, and put my finger into the place of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.” And that’s exactly what happened. Jesus met Thomas at the point of his unbelief & helped him overcome this hurdle. 

Both Peter & Thomas were reconciled to Jesus despite their failures. Messing up isn’t the conclusion when we come to Jesus with the broken & dysfunctional in our lives. Reconciliation is one of the glorious results of redemption!

Weaknesses & Deficiencies

Last year, I dislocated my shoulder & had surgery to repair it. Thankfully, my shoulder has recovered well & I can play basketball again 🙂
The shoulder thing was a challenge for me in lots of ways: limited range of motion, pain, restricted activities, physical therapy yuckiness & the mental struggles for my highly independent personality. When we have weaknesses & deficiencies, we often want to hide or camouflage these struggles. 

With God, however, such weak spots need to be accentuated, rather than obscured. Paul made this axiom abundantly clear in 2Cor 12 with his words about having a thorn in the flesh. Paul said that Jesus was glorified through his weaknesses. 

So today, let’s celebrate that we aren’t uber mensch – that we are frail & flawed humans through whom God works & gets all glory because of God’s love, power & grace!

Failing at Leadership

This week I failed at some leadership stuff – I hate failing when I know I can do better, hate it 🙁
Over the years, I’ve been in lots of different leadership roles, learning & growing heaps! Leadership is certainly an honor & weight. With that said, I think I learn the most from hearing about leadership failures & not just successes. So here are some of my failures as a leader & maybe you’ll find them helpful sometime:

  • communication shortfall – people can’t read my mind & it’s my responsibility to communicate clearly
  • insecurity – letting my insecurities bleed into my various leadership roles has left me with stupid, messy & unnecessary problems
  • proactive – it’s not helpful when I’m passive & don’t provide direction or anticipate obvious needs
  • arrogance – this was really stupid because my pride prevented me from learning & it was hurtful to the people I was leading
  • impulsive – there’s stuff in my personality where I can be impulsive & not strategic; this creates instability, confusion & sabotages teamwork

I know that I have boatloads more failures in my leadership experiences but I’m committed to grow & make new mistakes ,)