How do I get back up after I fall?
One of the most critical moments in your walk as a believer is when you stumble. It seems to happen when you least suspect. You’re growing as a Christian. You’re adjusting your thought life. You’re overcoming bad habits. Then, boom! Without warning, you do something “really stupid.” Maybe it’s an outburst of anger. Or maybe you revert to an impure sexual habit as though nothing had changed. Maybe you swell up with pride over someone else’s failure.
From my experience, what we do immediately after a failure is critical. We are at a fork in the road. On one path, we will draw away from the Lord, but on the other we will draw even closer to Him. Consider these alternate paths, and their very different destinations.
The first path is often accompanied by guilt. “What have I done? I’ve blown it. I’m a failure. God doesn’t want me the way I am.” Or, you may harden, justifying yourself: “He deserved my tongue-lashing.” “She set me up for that moral failure. It’s her fault.” The further you go down this path, the more difficult it is to recover. Some never do. Sadly, the world is full of people who once believed, but have strayed far away. (See the caution against drifting in Hebrews 2:1).
But the other path can restore you to even closer intimacy with God. Even in your failures, the Lord is watching and protecting. King David, no stranger to failure, observed: “If the Lord delights in a man’s way, He makes his steps firm; though he stumble, he will not fall, for the Lord upholds him with His hand” (Psalm 37:23-24 NIV).
Wonderfully, you can come to God in complete honesty about your failure, and ask His forgiveness. Remember, He knows all you have done—even what you’ve been thinking. There are no surprises with Him. But you need to take the initiative to return. What is God’s response when you humble yourself and come before Him? “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).
I couldn’t put a number to the times I’ve had to walk this path. But one thing I know—each time, the Lord has been completely faithful to forgive. Come quickly. Come as often as needed—not just for the big slips but also for the small ones. As you do, you will discover the depth of God’s love for you and find your love and trust for Him growing ever deeper.
KEY VERSE: “Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me” (Psalm 51:12).Day 28: Near the Cross