"You're just setting yourself up for failure."  We're all familiar with the expression.  It usually comes as someone's last ditch effort to get you to rethink doing something stupid.  But it rarely works, because the stupid thing you're about to do is driven by such a deep desire, ain't nobody gonna stop you.  In fact, you're well aware that you're probably gonna fail.  But you do it anyway.

I have been fairly unsuccessful in my main Lenten practice this season.  But there is a less prominent "practice" I've given myself to that is a constant, itchy reminder of God's grace in my life.  I don't have to try to grow a beard.  I have no control over it.  What can I say?  God has blessed me (nearly up to my eyeballs, as my sister pointed out to me yesterday) with hair.  It may sound silly, but my beard reminds me of God's grace in my life.  His strength is made perfect in my weakness, in my inability to control myself.

A friend of mine recently tweeted, "failure is where we live grace."  We're in Week 3 in Lent now.  For those who are practicing Lent, renouncing and re-ordering our rhythms into Christ, failure is part of the deal.  Otherwise we wouldn't have much need for a Savior, would we?   I suspect one of the reasons some Christians don't practice Lent, whether conscious of it or not, is because they don't want to fail.  But I think inevitable failure is one of the best reasons to do it!  Failure might be the best thing that could happen to you this season.

When you fail, what comes out of you?  How do you respond to failure?  What does is look like in your life to freely receive the grace of Jesus?

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