In life we love to point the finger. We love to say that this person wronged us. Or that this relationship failed because they did or did not do X, Y or Z. The blame game is rampant and even when we try not to point the finger we still end up putting blame elsewhere. I struggle a lot with the blame game. I constantly look for fault in others when things go wrong. I say things like “they just aren’t ready”, or “their spiritual maturity is not where it needs to be” and more. I looked at the situation and instead of looking at myself and my role I found something in the other person to justify their actions.
It wasn’t till after my divorce that I started to ask the question “How have I failed you”. For a long time there I was really good at doing this much-needed gut check. But over time my humility has shrunk and I’ve asked it less and less.
My pride didn’t allow me to see my faults.
I’ve been struggling with a lot of different aspects of my life recently. I would spend hours thinking about why things where happening the way they were. Wondering why people were saying the things they said and why they chose to take the actions they were taking. I would find all kinds of faults in them but none in me.
So yesterday I started to really communicate with God. I started to really open up to him and get angry. It’s amazing how when we get angry and really emotionally about our circumstances with God that we can sometimes hear him the clearest. So here I am sitting there in church questioning God on his reasons for letting X, Y and Z happen, knowing full well, at least in my mind, I had done everything He’d asked of me.
Or so I thought, then a word hit me, humility.
It was like a dagger in my heart. Here I have been spending time trying to find the solution in others, changing others or finding their faults and not looking at my own. I got to the point where I was trying to fix them, or guide them rather than just serving them. I had lost so much humility that I wasn’t able to ask myself that very important question. How have I failed you?
Do you realize the amount of humility it takes to sit down with someone whom you think has wronged you, or whom you’ve grown apart from and ask that question? This isn’t an easy question to ask. Don’t expect them to just say “you haven’t wronged me”, and even if they do push the issue.
Even if you haven’t failed them, you’ve failed to recognize how they truly failed you.
This question, if pushed and explored in a loving and authentic manner, will always lead to realization and discovery. You will either learn how you failed this person, or they will discover how they have failed you.
Failure and humility are not two ideas we typically see together. But what if we started to? What if we would humble ourselves enough to really seek out our failures? What if we trusted God enough to surrender our pride and kneel to our friends and ask them how we have failed them.
I don’t see this being an easy journey. In fact it will probably suck, a lot. But once we discover and recognize our failures we can begin to avoid them in the future. It won’t make us perfect by any means but it will strengthen us and give us a better understanding of who we are.
My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. – Psalm 73:26