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Failure and Recovery (Part 2)

Step 1: Repent

The first step in recovering from failure is to repent. Acknowledge you blew it. Own up to the fact you walked after the flesh, bought the enemy’s temptation, behaved contrary to who you really are, and misrepresented yourself and your Father. A secure believer apologizes. He apologizes to his Heavenly Father and to anyone affected by his choice to betray his true identity and walk after the flesh.

Here is a critical rule that applies when apologizing to others. Private failures require private apologies, public failures require public apologies. To whatever extent your sin was public, that is the extent to which your apology goes. Repentance is not a theological tool for making you feel better and erasing your failure. Repentance means owning up to your failure and turning away from it with the intent of going in the other direction. Anything less than this is not true repentance. Furthermore, just because you repent does not mean the consequences of your failure will be resolved.

This begs the question, “Why should I repent if I’m not going to escape the consequences?” Answer: Because you don’t want to stay in your sin and continue down the wrong road. You have a new heart that wants to be in tune with your Father’s heart. Don’t weasel around trying to shirk and shimmy. If you attempt to avoid repentance, instead of the heart-resonating tune of harmony with your Father, you will hear only the dull thunk of an iron string in a hollow chest. It will seem as though your masculinity has lost its face and its dignity. A secure man—which you are in Christ, and hopefully with brothers who will stand with you in times such as this—repents and apologizes when necessary.

Apologies are specific. “I’m sorry if…” is a worthless apology. Determine what you did apologize specifically for doing it as well as for the fallout it caused.

Next week we’ll look at the next two steps: Refocus and Remind.

Preston Gillham

About the Author

As a co-founder, Preston Gillham led Lifetime for 30 years. Preston is a writer, speaker, and leadership guide. He has authored numerous articles and several books including No Mercy and Battle for the Round Tower. He blogs on “Life and Leadership”. More about Preston, his writings, speaking, and his consulting practice can be located at PrestonGillham.com.