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“…we see in Paul’s words, “Scripture confined all under sin” (Galatians 3:22). The Greek word “confined” comes from the root “to shut up together,” that is, “to enclose”…By the law, the Almighty hemmed in human sinfulness. The law was a restraint so that transgressions of God’s People would not get out of hand. In this sense, the bondage to the law served a divine purpose. What is more, the law not only restricted the sin of the people until the promise could be fulfilled, but it also exposed it. The law prepared the people for grace, because no one was righteous according to the measure of the law. Therefore, their failure to keep the law’s righteous requirements prepared their hearts for the Gospel of salvation by faith in Christ—but only if they were willing to set aside their efforts to earn God’s favor.” (Fr. Basil)

“Peter was the head disciple, but struggled mightily in faith. He denied the Lord three times before His crucifixion and had earlier heard the stinging rebuke, “Get behind me, Satan!,” when he had rejected the message that Christ would be killed and rise from the dead. After His resurrection, the Lord restored Peter by asking him three times if he loved Him and commanding him to “feed My sheep” in fulfilling his ministry. (Jn. 21: 15-17) Peter was the first bishop of the Church in Antioch and in Rome, where he made the ultimate witness for the Savior as a martyr. At many points in his discipleship, he must have been as frustrated as a fisherman who had worked all night and caught nothing. But despite his many failures in understanding what kind of Messiah he was serving, Peter kept letting down his nets and finding that the Lord continued to call and work through him, despite his imperfections and failings.” (Fr. Philip LeMasters)

“All of us will fail. All of us will fall. Repeatedly. The greatest threat to our salvation is not falling but a lack of humility.” (Dr. Eugenia Scarvelis Constantinou)

“We fail humbly or fail egotistically. Christ came to save sinners which means He came to save failures because we all sin and fail, from the weakest to the strongest, and He knows we will fail. When we fail and turn inwards on ourselves, berating ourselves, castigating ourselves repeatedly for a sin we can’t master, and stay in this mental place, we miss an opportunity. When we fail and realize that Christ is with in our failure, using our failure as an opportunity for humility to repent and turn to Him to change, or strive to make change, from the sin that grips us until the change becomes who we are, we are then embracing failure as we should.” (Sacramental Living Ministries)

“We don’t become holy by ignoring our sins, by pretending we aren’t sinners, by downplaying how serious our sins are. The way to holiness is through acknowledging our sinful failings in confession and through repentance. When we feel disappointment in our own sinful failures, we will find God is close to us.” (Fr. Ted Bobosh)

“…God calls us in unanticipated ways to cooperate with His gracious purposes for bringing salvation to the world… God uses our cooperation to accomplish His gracious purposes in the world. That was certainly the case in the Old Testament: Abraham, Moses, David, and countless others responded to God’s initiative, and He worked through them, despite their many failings. And through the free response of a teenaged Palestinian Jewish girl came the Messiah in Whom the ancient promises to the descendants of Abraham are fulfilled and extended to the entire world.” (Fr. Philip LeMasters)

“All of us experience disappointments. Some are clearly our fault. Others are not. Yet God is in charge. The Lord is kind and forgiving, and He governs all things. So then, let us leave our failings behind and look forward for new opportunities to live and serve the Lord.” (Fr. Basil)

“It is our moral failings, faced honestly and with humility, that allow us to see the truth of our helplessness and of our utter dependence on God. St. Sophrony described this as “bearing a little shame.” Among the greatest errors of modernity’s false ideas, is the notion of our self-sufficiency and our moral competence. Those same errors convince us that we are able to do for the world what it refuses to do for itself. Every new crisis brings a chorus of voices that demand action while ignoring the fact that each new crisis is a recurring indictment of our own incompetence and moral failure.” (Father Stephen Freeman)

“The fact of the matter is that we cannot …control outcomes. We have to do what is right - with a certain measure of prudence of course, for it too is a virtue - and do it with prayer - that is, do what is right and leave the outcome to the Lord. This is actually a win-win situation… in taking the right sort of risk we are doing the right thing - and if it works, brilliant! Thank God! - and if it fails - well, thank God still, because all things actually work together for good for those who love God. Isn’t that good news? That even if we seem to fail - even if we fail - and even if the outcomes of our best intentions are not great - or even make things worse - they will ultimately work for our good - for our salvation - if we love God. Yes - this is true and the experience of all the saints - if we love God! But if we are practical atheists, if we in reality only give lip service to the Lord but do not in fact trust Him and do not accept this path - to take up the cross and follow Him - how truly tragic and pathetic our failures will be!” (Father Andrew Morbey)

“…even failures and disappointments can have a positive effect on our spiritual lives. God does not invite us to be His disciples because we are constantly successful or because we never falter. In fact Scriptures show God as having a tendency to choose those who might be overlooked by the world’s craving for strong champions. As the Lord said to Samuel when He sent Samuel to find the man to become the next king of Israel: “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for the LORD sees not as man sees; man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7). And as God reminds Israel why God chose Israel to be His people: “It was not because you were more in number than any other people that the LORD set his love upon you and chose you, for you were the fewest of all peoples; but it is because the LORD loves you, and is keeping the oath which he swore to your fathers, that the LORD has brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you from the house of bondage, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt” (Deuteronomy 7:7-8). We all can take heart that God really can use any of us to accomplish His will, even if we see ourselves as lacking power, gifts, resources, faith or success.” (Fr. Ted Bobosh)

“It is not uncommon to find people with very sensitive consciences and who seem to have a certain attraction, even aptitude, for the contemplative path, but who cannot come to terms with things that have happened in their past. Not only can they not accept divine forgiveness, they cannot forgive themselves. Consequently their self-esteem is too low to accept the fact that failure is part of the search for God.” (Martin Laird)

“…we must use the knowledge of our failures to fuel our humility, calling from the depths of our hearts for mercy. Instead of obsessively recounting the offenses of others, we must focus our minds on the words of the Jesus Prayer as we acknowledge our sinfulness and constant need for grace. We must pray for God’s blessings upon those who have offended us and ask God to forgive our sins by their prayers. By responding to our own struggles to love in spiritually healthy ways, we will grow in empathetic patience with others, especially those who apparently find it hard to be merciful to us. We may even begin to see why we ourselves are not always the easiest people to love and how we have tempted others to see us as their enemies.” (Fr. Philip LeMasters)

“[W]hy did almighty God permit the one he had placed over the whole church [Peter] to be frightened by the voice of a maidservant, and even to deny Christ himself? This we know was a great dispensation of the divine mercy, so that he who was to be the shepherd of the church might learn through his own fall to have compassion on others. God therefore first shows him to himself, and then places him over others: to learn through his own weakness how to bear mercifully with the weakness of others.” (St. Gregory the Great)

“Our problem is not with our failures. Our problem is that we do not know what to do with our failure. Generally, we take our failure into an inner dialog of self-accusation, self-loathing, false bravura, and other such nonsense. They are our inner efforts to ward off the shame of our failure…Every time I encounter a meme that suggests that people would have been better persons if only they had been whipped more, or that failure is just a sign of not trying hard enough, I hear the voice of the accuser who hates the fool and torments us all. Children, by virtue of their innocence and lack of expertise, are prone to failure. It is the gentle hand of a “comforter” who guides us past such downfalls without engaging in undo damage. Every parent should know (at some point) that we ourselves fail in that effort.” (Father Stephen Freeman)

“Maturity in Christ is about consistent pursuit in spite of the attacks and setbacks. Maturity in Christ is not about finally attaining some level of pseudo-perfection. It is about remaining in the arms of God. Abiding and staying, even in my weakness, even in my failure.” (Angela Thomas)

“This “love of the brothers” is a mode of existence, the proper expression of the resurrection of Christ. Every heresy, every schism, every false-teaching, is first preceded by a failure of love. This is always the first and greatest crisis of the Church. It is a deep sadness that various occasions that reveal divisions of various sorts are often treated as an isolated matter, discussed apart from the abiding crisis of failing love. By the same token, our own growth in the faith, the journey into the knowledge of God, can only be undertaken as a journey into love itself. St. John reminds us that “he who does not love does not know God, for God is love” (1John 4:8). This is the fullness of the Tradition and the most difficult thing to acquire.” (Father Stephen Freeman)

“We are made in the image and likeness of God, which means we are made to be like God. As Trinity, God is three persons, meaning He Himself is in perfect relationship—with Himself. Since we are made to be like God, we are also called to have perfect relationships with each other and with God. We attain perfect relationships by loving each other. When we fail to act in love, we sin, and when we sin we have the opportunity to reconcile with God and each other through forgiveness.” (Chris Shadid)

“The greatest definition of love is recorded by St. Paul to the Corinthians as he defines that love without patience, kindness, forgiveness, and self-control, will never bear fruit. There is no rudeness, nor constant arguments in love. This kind of love never fails because love is too busy being concerned about the needs of others. And, love does not freak out if things do not go their way. As St. Paul stated in Philippians, Chapter 2:3, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit…rather, in humility value others above yourselves.” (Fr. George Shalhoub)

“The proof of your faith is in good works. Can the proof be found in your life? Again St. James says, "But prove yourselves doers of the word and not just hearers who delude themselves" (James 1:22). Too often we join the people who hear but fail to produce the works that would make us doers. By doing the good works that Jesus taught us to do, we show by our actions that our faith is real. The proof of thanksgiving in the Christian Life is Faith that produces good works…But it doesn't just stop here. The Christian Life is a life of Love. Love not in just words but in action, and love in action is Sacrifice. Love is sacrifice. St. John tells us "We know love by this that He laid down His life for us (1 John: 3)." We must sacrifice our will for the will of Christ, just as He sacrificed His will for the will of the Father.” (Chris Avramopoulos)

“A commitment to love someone is an absolutely enormous risk. There is so much potential for pain and failure!...The fact of the matter is that we cannot - we simply cannot – control outcomes. We have to do what is right…and leave the outcome to the Lord. This is actually a win-win situation, because on the one hand, in taking the right sort of risk we are doing the right thing - and if it works, brilliant! Thank God! - and if it fails - well, thank God still, because all things actually work together for good for those who love God. Isn’t that good news? That even if we seem to fail - even if we fail - and even if the outcomes of our best intentions are not great - or even make things worse - they will ultimately work for our good - for our salvation - if we love God.” (Father Andrew Morbey)

“Perhaps the greatest tragedy of life in a secularized world is the freedom from failure. The mantra of progress ignores every secular failure as an abiding ill of an earlier age yet to be vanquished. Thus, its every failure is an excuse to double-down on the same insanity that failed the first time. The secular world’s unbridled self-confidence comes at the price of self-awareness. With freedom from failure comes freedom from repentance. We regret nothing. And this is the deepest poverty of soul in our modern world…Repentance is a difficult thing. It requires that we “bear a little shame.” Our failures and mistakes, indeed, our intentional misdeeds are lost in a world of success, and affirmation. We have nurtured a culture that believes the acknowledgment of failure is harmful, damaging to the psyche.” (Father Stephen Freeman)

“Failure has multiple spiritual benefits. For ourselves, our failures can (and should) be the means that drive us to repentance. True heartfelt repentance is where we encounter the love, grace, and mercy of God. The other benefit is that our failures serve others. St. Paul makes this point in Romans 11 where he points out the failure of Israel resulted in opportunities of repentance for them while leading to the conversion of the Gentiles. This should teach us to not to slip into self-judgment regarding our failures, but to accept them, realizing there may be multiple blessings within them, and simply turn to God.” (Sacramental Living Ministries)

It is strangely appealing to define ourselves by our failures, especially when others know that we have stumbled and treat us poorly as a result. As well, our own pride often causes us to lose perspective such that we obsess about how we do not measure up to whatever illusion of perfection we have accepted. People are often their own harshest critics in ways that are not healthy at all…Our failures and weaknesses are not good in and of themselves, but we put them to good use when we let them open our eyes to the truth of who we are, of where we stand before the Lord…our Risen Lord enables us to make even our most bitter failures points of entry into the new day of His eternal life…” (Father Philip LeMasters)

“Many people hit a roadblock in their relationship with God when the weight of their sins catches up to them, when they realize they are trapped in a cycle of sin or habit of ungodly behavior that they cannot control. It is a road block because now that they see and are fully convinced of their wretchedness, their complete and repeated failure in an area that they also realize they had allowed to grow and develop, once they are convinced of their fault, many people shut down in some way their relationship with God out of fear of God’s wrath, God’s judgement—as though God hasn’t known all along what you have now recently come to realize. When we become intensely aware of our shortcomings, sins and failures, we are the ones who are surprised and ashamed, not God. God has known and seen everything all along and has been waiting patiently for you to see it, for you to become aware of it.” (Father Michael Gillis)

“Our perception of success and failure may, in fact be inaccurate … perhaps the almighty God has chosen to work through us without letting us know. We may find out years later that what we saw as failure was actually God’s success." (Alice Fryling)

“Man failed in achieving the purpose of his creation; he failed to achieve his destiny, his theosis [union with God]. He tried to become a 'god without God.' This is his sin; this is the cause of his fall.” (Bishop Maximos Aghiorgoussis)

“ ‘Love covers a multitude of sins (1 Peter 4:8)…Love is the barometer by which Christ will judge our lives. Sin is not only doing wrong. Sin is failure to do right. Sin, on the most basic level, is failure to love. The root cause of all sin is failure to love.” (Fr. Stavros N. Akrotirianakis)

“…our greatest failing is not realizing who God is nor what His character is like.” (Foundation Study Bible, Isaiah 6:3)

“…we are created for communion. This is why believing in the threefold nature of the Holy Trinity is a non-negotiable requirement for Christians. God made us in His Image, and He is three in one. This is the foundational truth about God Himself—we were made for communion, but we fail, and our hearts are hardened by this failure.” (Father Barnabas Powell)

“There is much unhappiness and personal distress in the world because of failures to control tempers, appetites, passions, and impulses.” (William J. Bennett)

“When we invite Christ into our hearts, it is important that we keep His commandments and follow His example. To expect Christ to change our behavior without us making an effort of our own is to invite failure...Our personal failures begin in the heart.” (Abbot Tryphon, Dynamis 3/10/2015)

“…we too, oftentimes find that our dreams and plans are frustrated and lead to failure. We cannot help but wonder why God allows the earthly nests that we struggle so hard and work to build to fall apart and crumble before us. But the fact is that we cannot see as God does; if we too could judge events from the perspective of eternity, we would come to understand that God seeks for us a higher destiny, and a place of true serenity and provision for our deepest needs.” (Rev Andrew J Demotses)

“Without true humility, the door to our hearts is never fully open enough to let Christ completely in. Since most of our negative feelings about our personal failures is ultimately ego based, we need to convert our feelings from failure into a humble admission of our imperfection, and let it be an opportunity to let Christ fully into our hearts.” (Sacramental Living Ministries)

“See your own failures as opportunities to practice humility.” (Everett Worthington)

“What’s amazing is that the grace of God is so far-reaching and profound that He can use your failures.” (Tony Evans)

“In God’s economy, nothing is wasted. Through failure, we learn a lesson in humility which is probably needed, painful though it is.” (Bill Wilson)

“Our perception of success and failure may, in fact be inaccurate … perhaps the almighty God has chosen to work through us without letting us know. We may find out years later that what we saw as failure was actually God’s success." (Alice Fryling)

“With all your weakness and helplessness, with all your frailties and infirmities, with all your sorrows and cares, He invites you to come to Him…God meets you in your weakness, not in your strength. He comforts those who mourn, not those who live above desperation. He reveals Himself more often in darkness than in the happy moments of life.” (John Dawson, Dan Allender and Tremper Longman III)

“God’s grace does not come to people who morally outperform others, but to those who admit their failure to perform and who acknowledge their need for a Savior." (Pastor Timothy Keller)

“We are saved only through the Cross. There is no salvation in strength, only in weakness. We will either come to know God in the communion of His sufferings (Phil 3:10) or we will never know Him. We either believe in the Crucified God or we believe in no God at all.” (Father Stephen Freeman)

“Humility does not mean having a lower opinion of ourselves than we deserve, but having a just sense of our weakness and sin. We are too weak of ourselves to do anything, even exist. It is solely the power of God which allows us to do anything, including moving toward Him.” (William Law)

“It is difficult, however, for many people to admit their faults and shortcomings, even to God. It takes humility and honesty to recognize our weaknesses, and most of us would rather pretend that we are strong.” (Life Application Study Bible, 1 John 1:8-10)

“We all fail to be what God wants us to be, to do those things He asks us to do. But true Christians are not those who never sin and never fail, but rather those who repent of their sins and shortcomings and turn to God in humility.” (Archimandrite Vassilios Papavassiliou)

“Weakness is when you know that you are out of your depth. And that is precisely where we discover His strength holding us up…It is often when we recognize our weaknesses that God’s strength becomes available.” (Colin Smith, Life Application Study Bible, Psalms 102:3, 4)

“It is necessary to get to know yourself very well, your own extreme weakness, so that you learn not to judge, not to feel burdened by another’s weakness, but to empathize and to co-suffer with him.” (Hieromonk Nektary)

“Expertise is actually a very rare commodity…Mediocrity and incompetence are widespread (nearly universal). Fortunately, expertise is not the hallmark of the spiritual life. Were it so, almost no one would be saved…mediocrity and incompetence are not roadblocks to salvation – they are the gateway.” (Father Stephen Freeman)

“One of the greatest obstacles we face in attempting to reach our potential is the fear of making a mistake, the very human fear of failure. And yet excellence is based on failure, usually one failure after another." (Ted Engstrom)

“...when we are crushed and when it seems that sorrow after sorrow and difficulty after difficulty fall upon us, must persevere in our dialogue with the Lord. It is only through a humble acceptance of the circumstances of our lives and a willingness to take responsibility for everything that has happened to us, with all of our failures, misfortunes, and sorrows, that we will be given the strength to overcome them, and through the mercy of God, to grow through them.” (Archimandrite Sergius)

“It is easy to get puffed up about ourselves when those around us recognize our accomplishments, but this life is not about careers, education, or success; it is about our relationship with God.” (Abbott Tryphon)

“Since the ultimate purpose of our salvation is to glorify God and to bring us into intimate, rich fellowship with Him, failure to seek God in prayer is to deny that purpose." (John MacArthur)

“Identity is a matter of character, not accomplishment, a matter of being and relating, not doing...Christ’s acceptance and approval of his disciples was always based on the being part of discipleship, not the doing part. The disciples enjoyed some successes in their mission. But they also experienced some failures, particularly during Christ’s arrest, trial and crucifixion when “all the disciples deserted him and fled”... Had the disciples based their identity on their performance, they would have reason to consider themselves failures.” (Stephen Arterburn and David Stoop)

“We need to be aware of our own breaking points and not become overconfident or selfsufficient. If we fail Him, we must remember that Christ can use those who recognize their failure.” (Life Application Study Bible, Luke 22:62)

“If we walk by faith, every victory invests us with higher courage, and every failure flings us back on God.” (George Buttrick)

“...we have great incentive to use our wisdom and our will to the best effect, knowing God holds us to it and knowing we will suffer consequences from foolishness and wickedness. On the other hand, there is an absolute promise that we cannot ultimately mess up our lives. Even our failures and troubles will be used for God’s glory and our benefit.” (Pastor Timothy Keller)

“He (God) will be infinitely merciful to our repeated failures;” (C. S. Lewis)

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