Day 7: Getting Up AgainTaken in part from Chapter 7 & 12 of A Confident Heart
Food for thought: “Though the righteous fall seven times, they rise again.” (Proverbs 24:16 NIV)
I’ve always admired people who aren’t afraid to fail. You know, the ones who don’t even consider defeat when they blow it; people who see a personal setback as just another goal to conquer.
I’m not always so courageous. In fact, I can be really hard on myself when I fail, and it doesn’t even have to be a biggie. You see, I have what I call a “meanie in me” who replays my mistakes over and over, reminding me of how badly I’ve disappointed someone, or how impatient I was with my husband, or how harsh I was with my kids, or all sorts of ways that I fell short that day.
But the greatest defeat comes when I allow a mistake, a bad decision, a sin, or a broken relationship to convince me that I might as well give up. Perhaps you have also allowed failure to knock you down, tie you up with the ropes of regret, and hold you hostage like I have.
When I surveyed over twelve hundred women for my book, A Confident Heart, I discovered that our past failures, and our fear of failing again, are two of the biggest triggers that paralyze us with self-doubt.
Today’s key verse, Proverbs 24:16, has helped me release the regret, guilt, fear, and shame that have weighed me down and held me back. Take a minute to read it again now and notice how it says the righteous will fall. That is right. Even those of us who have received the gift of Christ’s righteousness and redemption will fall down. But we were never intended to stay down.
Instead of giving up, Jesus empowers us to get up again.
In getting up, we can apologize and ask for forgiveness. In getting up, we can choose to try again with our kids, in our jobs, in our ministries, in our marriages, and in all of our mistakes. Because we trust that although we fall, God will help us up.
Listen to His promise in Psalm 37:23–24, and as you read it, insert your name in the blanks: The steps of _______ are established by the LORD, and He delights in __________ way. When ____________ falls, will not be hurled headlong, because the LORD is the One who holds ___________ _ hand. (NASB)
When we get up again, failure actually helps us become the confident women God created us to be because it makes us stronger and better—when we go to God for help. Failure can stretch us to do more than we think we can and push us to try other methods of doing things when one way doesn’t work.
Yes, failure can be hurtful, but it can also be beneficial. Failure produces wisdom when we ask for it and maturity when we learn from it.
The truth is, following Jesus is not about avoiding failure and being perfect. It’s about accepting our weaknesses and letting them lead us to complete dependence on God’s perfect love and power at work in us.
The next time you fail to be the woman He calls you to be, or the woman you expect yourself to be, ask God to remind you of these truths. We will sometimes fail to be who we want to be, but we get closer to who we are meant to be every time we fall and then choose to take God’s hand so we can get up again!
Lord, I’m so thankful for Your grace that reminds me there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Because my steps are established by You, Lord, I will believe that You delight in me even when I fail or fall. Today, I want to take Your hand and trust Your heart as You pull me back up again and use my failures to help me become the confident woman You created me to be. In Jesus’ name, Amen. (See Romans 8:1; Psalms 37:23–24)
© 2011 by Renee Swope with Revell Publishing. All rights reserved.
Doubt Diet Tip: I can’t guarantee you won’t fail, but I can help you set yourself up to succeed! Just like healthy eating requires good planning,we need to plan for healthy “spiritual snacks” from God’s Word to have with us all day. That way we have easy access to truth to help us keep losing the weight of our self-doubts.
In chapter 12 of A Confident Heart, you will find a chart of thirty-one promises to replace your defeating doubts with God’s empowering perspective and promises! Here’s a link to a FREE DOWNLOAD that includes a few of them to carry with you today.
Let’s Talk: Has failure or fear of failure affected your confidence? How did today’s devotion speak to your heart?
Share your thoughts below this post. Click the link if you’re reading this via email, then scroll to the bottom of today’s post and click on “Share Your Thoughts.” Let’s get real with each other and discuss this “tough-to-talk-about” topic. I want us to help each other get back up again so we can become the women God has created us to be! With Jesus and each other’s encouragement, failure doesn’t have to get the final say anymore!
Teresa Morris says
Thank you so much for your ministry!! Fear of making mistakes and being punished has been one of my biggest problems in life. I wrote a blog about some of the lessons I learned from your book and from the Confident Heart study we are doing with Melissa Taylor.
Nozipho Mashele says
I was analysing the proverbs 31 woman and I search on the internet and there was your website. I’ve been glued on the screen eversince. You have helped me in becoming the woman God created me to be ” a woman of strength” I desire to be that woman. I am very pleased with myself for joining the bible study I am positive that I will achieve what I want to achieve. I am asking to God to direct my ways , top be the centre of my life, I want to listen to him and depend on him. I want to listen to God all the time and stay in His presence. I want to trust HIm completely. I do not want to stay in the midst of troubles but I want to go out and tell people about the God that I serve, I want to pray for others. I want God to control my mind, my thoughts, my actions and my heart. Thenk you Renee for an eye opening devotions . God Bless you
Brenda Henneberg says
What a blessing to have stumbled upon your web site. I was just telling a coworker today about my life long battle with self condemnation and not knowing how to get over it. We discussed how God loves us and see’s the beauty in us that we cannot see in ourselves. I have felt it on my heart to find a bible study that would honor God and help me change my focus from myself to Him. I think that your study will be just what I need. Thank you for sharing your God given wisdom with others so that we can finally let go of our insecurities and truly trust God!
I have been going through a really difficult time at the moment, but it has also been the best time of my life. Before I was dependent on myself; not trusting God and fearful. Now my failures have made me absolutely dependent on God; I pray about everything; check everything with Him; wait on Him and trust His power rather than mine. If I had to go through what I went through and even if I have to keep going through difficulties if it teaches me to trust God and educates me more about who He is, IT IS ALL WORTH IT. Peter the apostle of Christ was stonger after his failure than before it. Not only that he got to taste the redeeming love of Christ. He saw how deep the love and compassion of God goes and in the process God get’s glorified. Now I would love for the hard and painful stuff to end, BUT if God determines that there is more to teach me then I wholehearted submit to His will. Like the lump of clay on the potters wheel I will rest and be molded by the Potter’s hand. What is more I can now understand while the apostle Paul could say ‘in everything give thanks’ 1 Thes 5:18. But I can now truly say that also ‘for everything’ I give thanks. Because I choose to make every situation lead me closer to my saviour I am grateful every for the bad stuff. By the grace of God nothing will separate me from the love of God, but I determine all things will lead me closer to Him. God be praised, I have never known God like this. It’s great! So those of you going through the hard places of life choose to make that lead you to God. Think of it this way. Imagine making a phone call and not hanging up, you stay on one end and the other person stays and the other, you get on with the things you need to and from time to time speak to the other person as you get on with your day- the phone line is kept open. That’s how I interact with God through my day. I keep the lines of communication always open. I speak to Him about everything. If I am scared, doubtful, anxious, hurt, embarrased, unsure, and even when I’m feeling strong I keep talking to Him. I keeping asking Him what He thinks and keep asking for His help. If I’m not trusting I ask Him to help me trust. If faith waivers I ask God to forgive me and strengthen my faith. I let every situation be a reason to talk to God. And I make myself find things to thank Him for. It has done wonders for my life. Try it. The Lord is near. Blessings on all who read and my pray for you all who struggle, the Lord really is near.
I finished your book last week and was compelled to give it to a girlfriend who is going through insecurities right now. This book hit home to a lot of areas in my life, from my past, that I thought I had dealt with. But your encouraging words and the scripture, I finally started releasing alot of those bad “demons”. I have dealt with feeling worthless, scared and tried to please other people. But there is only one person that I need to please and that is my Lord! No more doubt creeping in my head and my heart! Thank you for sharing your life with me. I know that God truly wrote that book through you to share with other women!
“LET GO and LET GOD”!
Just this morning I called out to God for help with my self doubt. I’m at ANOTHER job that seems to be failing. I am discovering what I am NOT made to do for work, but have yet to discover what it is I am to do.
I used to be so confident and a leader of women’s ministries until I burned out. Since then I have tried many different jobs only to discover my physical and mental inabilities. I continue to search for where God has me to be. I continue to pray for His help and guidance.
Thank you for your reminder and for how you are allowing God to use you.
Becky McClelland says
I started reading a Confident Heart and can not put it down. I am going to do this the right way and savor the chapters so I can learn from them. I wanted to tell you I plan to answer my end of chapter questions on my blog, address above.
Thank you I needed this book. I have been a Christian for 28 years and a nurse for 15 years and I still doubt myself sometimes.
Morning. I couldn’t figure out a way I could respond to a devotion you wrote – but really felt compelled to do so – http://devotions.proverbs31.org/2011/09/finding-hope-for-my-future-despite-the-pain-of-my-past.html
Thank you for your service. I am a christian who suffers with compulsive eating. I am in a 12 step program – OA and use the Celebrate Recovery Bible. I was doing some searches through the devotionals on depression and relapse and hit your devotion. Thank you. Your devotional is honest, deep and not candy coated. I needed it. I believe surrender is the biggie I’ve been doing 1/2 measures with – giving and taking back. Much love and appreciation your way – Terri
Renee, I don’t know if you are still doing your series on leading women to become confident but I just read Wednesday Oct 26th post about You were created to live in confidence. I got to the part about saying What’s wrong with me and that did it. I never realized this was a lie from the enemy and things would happen like I couldn’t remember where I put something or I would get somewhere and realize I forgot to bring something I needed and that’s what would come out of my mouth,,What’s wrong with me? Thank you for this message because now I can see how the enemy is using this to try to defeat me and make me think I am worthless. Now I can see and I have asked the Holy Spirit to cleanse my mind and get rid of all those lies that are stuck in my thoughts and transform my mind. Thank you again for this revelation.
Kyndle Joyce says
Times have been hard for me this year. Marriage and financial issues have left me feeling down. For whatever reason, I find that I get down on myself about anything bad that happens – it’s all my fault. Im not pretty enough, nice enough, strong enough, make enough money, thrifty enough to make things better. I’m not ENOUGH. Those are my thoughts. God tells me different. I meant enough to Him to send His only Son to die for me. I pray that I can focus on that one thing every day. I found myself saying those things to myself again today. I wanted to know when I would matter to anyone here on earth. I don’t feel worthy of anything. God has blessed me with so much. I’m just not worthy to have it in my own eyes. I thank you, Renee, for finding God’s will to council and share with others what you have also faced. Not to point out where other fall short, but to show others that God is the only way though any of it. I want to thank God for standing by me all my life. I pray that I will one day find the courage and strength to live my life without fear and doubt. I look back at all the things I have faced in my lefr and God has always been there for me, when no one else was. I thank Him for all that. God Bless!
I can understand how you feel about being hard on yourself, but I do not have a job am on disability I have been a Christian many years but I feel less then you because I do not have a career or a family my choice on that one so I have a hard time letting God take control all the way it is hard a fearful. Please say a prayer for me because I am creating my own fate because I am a diabetic and I eat all the wrong things and in do so I have let God down.
I know your days are full but my prayer is that you will continue this series of devotionals or something similar. I believe we all need to “be still and know that I am God” — Your writing style is heaven-sent! I pray you and your family are well. Thank you for following God’s instruction to comfort as you have been comforted. Praying you have a day filled with God’s peace… truly the peace that surpasses all understanding!!
Thank yo renee, please pray for me as I struggle with my self douts and fears. Pray I can forgive myself for not being the person God has made me to be. As I stated in my reply to Ginger I am a victum of verbal abuse, it has brought me down for years, I am getting very weak and worn out of it. I also struggle with health issues that cause it to be worse.
Thank you for the words of enguragement today.
Buenas noches. Me recomendaron que me suscribiera a esta pagina ya que son muy positivos los articulos que escriben, el unico problema que tengo es que viene en el idioma ingles, les agradeceria que me enviaran sus artiulos en español. Y otra consultita si su libro un corazon confidente ya se encuentran en las librerias de mi pais que es Tegucigalpa, Honduras. Gracias de antemano.
Your cranium must be prctioteng some very valuable brains.
Thank you, Renee. God really prepared my heart to for this devotion. I have been struggling with self-condemnation and punishment excessively this past year. After facing health issues, which I felt I failed in handling well, I held onto the “meanie” and haven’t known how to not, or even if I should not, listen to it. I’m afraid to do even simple tasks, like driving and shopping, because I hear the voice say that I could make a fatal mistake. But God has really used you to give me hope and Scriptures to fight. And to encourage me that He is not saying those things — but that His grace is enough. Thank you!
This helped me a lot today. U cried and prayed. Thank you!! Have a great day!
I, too, am very hard on myself. I never think anything I do is good enough and the fear of failure again, especially in my career–as I have failed miserably in the past–simply paralyzes me. I don’t know which direction to go.
However, several months ago I was convicted to return to school and head in a completely different direction than I would have ever thought to go. I have prayed about this and feel God is leading me in this direction. Of course, Satan keeps butting in and telling me that I will never be able to reach this goal so why even start!!! But as a newly, almost confident woman, I am soldiering forward. I know it will be difficult and there will be times I will fail. But I pray that God will constantly remind me that I am doing His will and He will lift me up.
I would ask for your prayers as I begin this new career journey at age 46!!! I pray for the strength and confidence to see it through and let God use me as He would see fit.
Thank you so much for this post Renee. I have been battling back and forth with getting a divorce. My husband is emotionally and verbally abusive, although he has also struck me a few time. The emotional and verbal are worse then the physical tho. I am getting ready to file for Divorce and he is always throwing scripture at me and tries to abuse me in that way as well. I am so at peace when I am not around him, but when we have contact and I just try to be nice I feel like I am walking on eggshells. I have lived this way for 11 years and I truly can not take it any more. I know God does not like Divorce, but what to do. My husband doesn’t like going to counseling and always blames me for everything. He is very insecure, prideful and doesn’t feel he does any wrong. My fear is disappointing God with Divorcing this man and what my consequences are going to be when it is time to face “My Daddy.” I know God is a forgiving God, but my intentions are not to do this just to say, “Oh God will forgive me.” It hurts my heart to disappoint My Daddy and I know he has been through much more pain and suffering than any of us on earth will ever endure. I don’t want to go through the rest of my life unhappy and waiting for the next shoe to drop. Through all this though, it is making me to be stronger and learn how to set boundaries for myself.
Thanks for allowing me to express what my fear is.
Ginger, my situation is almost identical to yours, only I have been battleing it for 27 years and he dosen’t hit me, but the verbal and mental abuse is tearing me down, I was a strong women and very confident, but now I strugle every day with self dought at one point about six moths ago I even considered suicide. I have gotten past that but am still struggeling. I thought about divorce as well, but don’t think I can make it financialy on my on, I didn’t leave him for years because of the kids, they also know what I have gone through and althou they love their father, they hate seeing me so unhappy. And this is where I am going to say, God does not intend for us to live our lives unhappy, he says that he wants us to live happy, productive lives. So therefore I don’t believe he will be unhappy with you for leaving an unhappy abusive life that prevents you from being the persons he intends you to be. I cant be the person God wants me to be because of the abuse my husband puts on me and I know it. I just don’t have the nerves to leave. I don’t know how to leave.
Thank you for expressing your fear, it help me to express mine.
Cheryl E says
Just like your post says I am my own worst enemy most of the time. I can beat myself up for weeks after making a bad decision, doing, or saying something I regret. I usually don’t need someone else putting me down because I do that on my own. I often get to the point of wondering “why even keep trying”, I’ll just mess it up anyway. I am really trying to make an effort to not be so hard on myself and give it over to God. Thanks to God’s grace and mercy each day I try and remind myself that I’m not perfect on my own–I need Jesus everyday.
Thanks for this 7-day Doubt Diet, Renee. I look forward each time to your posts.
Failure AND fear of failure have both definitely affected my confidence. I have made some of the same mistakes and bad decisions so many times that I have wondered if I even have it in me to do any better. I am so grateful to God for carrying me through these mistakes and decisions time and time again. I am slowly learning to beat myself up less over mistakes or bad decisions I make and instead run to God for forgiveness and help to learn and grow from them. His faithfulness and patience with me are beyond measure.
Thank you for this 7-day Doubt Diet, Renee. It has greatly encouraged me. I have purchased the book and can’t wait to dig into it for more!