by Richard Rocco ◊ Mar 04, 2011
I didn’t really do that well in high school. I was pretty much a B- or C+ student. I think it was because of all the distractions. I didn’t do well on tests either. Maybe because I didn’t study…I don’t know. Anyway, I used to sit next to some super smart people. It seemed that they got every question right. They passed with flying colors. It seemed easy to them. How about you? Are you one of those incredibly talented people that we get mad at because everything seems to come easy or are you like the rest of us who have to try hard to get that elusive B?
I was reading the Bible the other day and came across a scripture that really challenged me. It rocked my world. I think this scripture will become my life quote.
Philippians 1:27 says, “Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the Gospel of Christ.”
It’s easy to be a good little Christian in the confines of the four walls of the church building, but the real test begins when you throw yourself in the arena where “whatever happens” really happens! Becoming an overcoming, mature believer of Christ takes going through the tests of life only found in tough, challenging situations and trials that will push you beyond your comfort limits.
I went through one of these tests for the first time in a long time and unfortunately, I failed! You might think, but you’re a pastor. You’re not supposed to fail. Here’s a news flash…I did!
Without going into details, I went to talk to someone about a question that I had. The person thought I was questioning his integrity and BAM, he blew up at me! The harder I tried to calm him down, the hotter he got. He started swearing at me. I was quite impressed on how many ways you can add colorful words into one sentence. After a few minutes of this, I couldn’t handle it any longer. I called him a bonehead. Yes, bonehead came shooting out of my mouth faster than I could call it back. It was like I just shot the guy’s pet gold fish. He yelled, “Get out! Get out!” So I left.
I was so angry at him…really, I was angry at myself. I failed the test. I had a chance to conduct myself in a manner worthy of the Gospel of Christ and I blew it. I most likely lost a friend, but more importantly, I might have lost an opportunity to witness the goodness of Christ to him forever.
Does God allow us to fail? Yes. Is there grace for failure? Again, yes. Can you learn from your failures? Absolutely!
To fail the test is the road to growth, to give up after failing is the road to destruction.
Psalms 139:23-24 declares, “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”
Did you catch that? “Test me and know my anxious thoughts.” David is asking God to test him. With tests there are times when you will pass with flying colors and times when you will fail. God will test you, not to harm, but to lead you in the way everlasting.
In closing, we are all going to blow it in one way or another. When the “whatever” happens and hits the fan and you’re not ready for it, what can you do after you lose it?
1. Acknowledge that you are a sinner that needs a Savior. You can’t do it on your own. If you could, God wouldn’t have sent His Son.
2. Realize that there is no condemnation for those in Christ. The devil condemns but the Holy Spirit convicts. One destroys, but the other brings life.
3. Repent. Ask God for forgiveness and make an effort to turn. When you see your failure, change your ways.
4. Get up and keep going. This life is a marathon, not a sprint.
Remember, “Whatever happens; conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the Gospel of Christ!” Until next time, be blessed.
Richard Rocco is the Pastor of Frontline Christian Church, 2340 State Street, Hamden. For more information, please visit www.frontlinecc.com or call 203.287.9417.