“I just buy bigger pants”. She said it with a straight face and then threw her head back in a girlish chuckle. I’m talking about a lunch meeting I had with one of my favorite colleagues, Anissa, and how that girl taught me a valuable lesson on handling failure as a Christian. If memory serves me well, we were at a pizza place in Kansas City, Kansas. I sure like that girl. I tend to be careful about making friends at work. It’s blown up in my face before. However, sometimes, you can meet really amazing people! I think making friends at work can be one of the most rewarding aspects of a job. It often begins with shared coffee breaks or casual water cooler conversations that eventually evolve into genuine connections. These workplace friendships can provide a support system, making the daily grind more enjoyable and less isolating. I know that’s how I feel about Anissa. Whether we are collaborating on projects, celebrating successes, or simply having someone to vent to during a tough day, work can turn colleagues into companions. I know working with her enhances job satisfaction and fosters a sense of camaraderie that positively impacts several areas of my life. Anyway, on the day we had pizza, she taught me a lesson about failure as a Christian.
It started with me whining about my recent weight gain, all while searching the menu for some nasty, low-calorie, low-point Weight Watcher point option…IN A PIZZA RESTAURANT)!!! Crazy, right? Who goes to a pizza place to eat low-calorie pizza? Well, on that day, I guess I did.
I have spent so many years trying to lose weight. I think I’m consumed by it. It’s like I’d try to lose weight. Then, I’d lose some, and then I’d gain it back. It was a cycle of failure sprinkled with success and then failure again. I had 20 pounds to lose – so a pizza place was likely not the best place to eat, and I was beating myself up about it.
Losing those extra pounds was beginning to consume me.
I was going around measuring everything before I ate it, weighing food, and acting like a mad woman.
I was driving my family crazy and stressing myself out. I mean, REALLY stressed.
After I’d been staring at the menu until my eyes crossed, Anissa nonchalantly looked up from hers and said, “I don’t worry about it like that; I just buy bigger pants.”
We both cracked up, and I felt better.
Now, before you get this weird, distorted mental image of my work buddy, let me tell you she’s a beautiful woman donning middle age like a 20-year-old – in fact, she even looks like one. She’s a good size (relatively thin) and lives her life without obsessing about weight loss and counting every single piece of popcorn before allowing it into her bowl (yes, I did that).
Her casual comment made me laugh and gave me a much-needed dose of perspective and sanity. Boy, did I need it at that point? As we used to say in the ’80s, I was really ‘trippin’.
Great movie, and a great philosophy on failure as a Christian!
Reflecting on that day now, our conversation reminds me of that scene in the movie “Eat, Pray, Love.” Do you know the one I’m talkin’ about? Somehow, my mind related that scene to managing failure.
Here is how it played out.
The main character, Liz (played by Julia Roberts), is in an Italian restaurant (in ITALY) with a friend.
The friend was doing just what I did at the pizza restaurant. She was fat-shaming herself to the point of self-inflicted oppression.
What was hilarious was that the character was doing this in one of the world’s most famous culinary metropolises – Italy. Liz’s response was just as wise and well-balanced as Anissa’s. She said to her friend:
“Right now, we’ll enjoy this, and tomorrow, we’ll go buy bigger jeans.”
This is one of the wisest quotes in cinematic history. Well, at least it is for me. Check it out here:
That’s when that funky bass line from Sly and the Family Stone came on.
Here’s a link to a YouTube video of that song. Be prepared to bop your head.
Again, I digress. Back to managing failure as a Christian.
You see, I’m such a “thinker”. I consistently analyze, pick apart, self-punish, and then start doing it all over again. I give others so much grace, but I often want to burn myself at the stake for the tiniest infraction! Can you relate? That’s not the best way to handle failure as a Christian.
I’m learning to give myself some slack. It’s hard, but I’m learning that failure as a Christian is not fatal, and it is not a reflection of my self-worth.
I hope you are, too.
Failure is not really bad.
You see, dealing with failure as a Christian woman is an incredible opportunity for personal growth and deepening one’s faith.
Rather than letting disappointment or setbacks define us, we have the chance to see them as stepping stones on a path toward greater growth and blessings.
In God’s eyes, our worth is not determined by our achievements or failures.
Instead, it lies in our unwavering trust that God’s plan is perfect, even when we can’t fully grasp it.
Failure becomes essential for building resilience and drawing strength from our faith.
Through those moments of stumbling, we can learn to lean on God’s love, finding comfort, wisdom, and the motivation to rise up and continue forward.
Remember that as Christian women, we are not bound by our past, current, or future mistakes.
We get to experience the amazing kindness of Jesus, which helps us to learn, improve, let go of our mistakes, and look forward to better days.
With unwavering faith, an optimistic outlook, and reliance on God’s guidance, we can confidently handle failure, knowing that it is simply a part of the beautiful journey of life. Don’t you think this is true for all our failures?
What are some common failures Christians struggle with?
Food and weight are just two of my failures.
Like everyone else, I have many others. for one, I have a big mouth. It often gets me in lots of trouble.
Here are some other failures I and lots of other Christians may deal with.
One common failure is struggling with doubt or wavering faith, where believers may question their beliefs or face periods of spiritual uncertainty.
Another challenge can be falling short of living up to their faith’s moral and ethical standards, making mistakes, and engaging in behaviors that conflict with their values.
Additionally, Christians may struggle with forgiveness, finding it difficult to let go of past hurts or grudges. These failures, however, are not unique to Christians but are part of the human experience.
What’s important is how they choose to respond to these failures, seeking growth, reconciliation, and spiritual renewal through their faith and relationship with God.
Failures in the Bible
I love the Bible. Isn’t it good news that we have so many examples in the Bible of people like us who have made many mistakes? Do you want some examples? Trust me, you know all these:
- Adam and Eve: Eve is often associated with the failure in the Garden of Eden. She and Adam ate from the forbidden tree, getting them kicked out of paradise and introducing sin into the world.
- Sarah: Sarah, the wife of Abraham, struggled with impatience and disbelief in God’s promise of a son. This chick literally laughed when God foretold Isaac’s birth and suggested that Abraham father a child with her maidservant Hagar, which led to family drama. She later kicked Hagar and the baby (Ishmael) out of her home after doing what SHE told her today.
- Lot’s Wife: While her name is not actually mentioned in the Bible, Lot’s wife is known for looking back at the burning city of Sodom against God’s command, resulting in her turning into a pillar of salt.
- Delilah: Delilah is infamous for her role in Samson’s downfall. She persuaded Samson to reveal the secret of his strength, which helped out his enemies and led to his capture and imprisonment.
- Noah’s Drunkenness: After the flood, Noah planted a vineyard, became drunk from the wine he produced, and was found naked by his sons. This incident revealed Noah’s vulnerability and was a moment of failure in his otherwise righteous life.
- Moses’ Anger: Moses, the great leader God chose to lead the Israelites, failed when he lost his temper and struck a rock in anger instead of speaking to it as God had commanded. As a result, he was prohibited from entering the Promised Land.
- David’s Adultery and Murder: King David, known for his deep faith – he wrote Psalms, for crying out loud – failed when he committed adultery with Bathsheba and orchestrated the murder of her husband, Uriah. This dark period in his life revealed his moral shortcomings.
- Peter’s Denial: One of Jesus’ closest disciples, Peter, famously denied knowing Jesus three times on the night of Jesus’ arrest despite his earlier declaration that he would never do so.
So the next time you struggle with failure as a Christian, remember these most popular examples of failure in the bible.
How to overcome failure as a Christian
Failure as a Christian is hard. We disappoint ourselves and likely others. Every failure is not as simple or as vain as my weight gain. Some can really rattle us and zap our hope. We may feel we will never get better or do better. But that is not true.
Never give up on yourself, Christian Woman. You are going to find life is full of ups and downs. Some of those ups and downs will be because of our families. Others will be because of other people’s failures.
Please let me share some I’m working on implementing in my daily life when with comes to managing my failures as a Christian.
Being kind to yourself is the best way to handle failure as a Christian.
How many times do we utterly pound ourselves for our past or current choices in life? Of course, we should always be emotionally and spiritually evolving, but lamenting over the past and not seizing the moment is just short of living a life of torment. That’s not the Lord’s will for us.
To be clear, I am not advocating reckless living without consideration for consequences. I’d be an unhealthy size 99 if that were my philosophy, plus I would be beating up folks and cursing them out at every turn. No. Self-control is a good thing. It’s the fruit of the Spirit – the direct result of God living inside us.
No. I’m simply admonishing you not to compromise your “today” for what you did “yesterday”. In other words, enjoy the pizza, buy bigger pants, and change your path in the future.
A page from my own life.
In my twenties, I married a young man. It was to the wrong man for me. It wasn’t all bad because it produced one [of the two] biggest blessings imaginable – my son. But, for years, I beat myself up for making that bad choice and choosing the wrong man for myself. I avoided relationships because I didn’t trust myself to choose a mate.
How silly that was. I didn’t know Anissa back then, but had I known her, she likely would have said something like, “Ok, that’s done. Now pick up the pieces of your life and move on” In other words, buy bigger pants.
So, please don’t live in a state of condemnation or regret. Yes, be the best you, but enjoy your now and forget the things behind you. You can’t change them overnight, so why lose sleep over them?
Buy bigger pants.
Take 1 minute and be encouraged by Ben Courson and failure.
Online Resources for moving past regret and failure.
“Let Go of the Past to Move into the Future”
“Moving Past Regret”