Pastor Mike's thoughts

Thoughts on today's Christian world and how it fits into secular society.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Admitting Failure

They went out and immediately got into the boat, and that night they caught nothing.
—John 21:3

It was a familiar scene. The disciples had been fishing all night, but caught nothing. Then they hear a voice from the shore call out, “Children, have you any food?” (John 21:5).

The word “children” used here could also be translated “boys.” Both terms would normally be used by a parent or someone in authority. I wonder if Peter thought, Who is he calling boys? We're men. Why is he even talking to us? It’s not his business.

But John, always the perceptive one, recognized that it was Jesus. But why did the Lord ask them this question? The point was to show them their own need. He wanted them to admit their failure: “We caught nothing.” It isn’t that this was the biggest failure you could ever have. After all, we have all had this happen when we've gone fishing. But Jesus was using their empty nets to demonstrate a bigger point.

God will do the same with us. Before we can find restoration, before we can find forgiveness, we have to admit our failure. That's really hard for some people. We don’t like to admit we've failed. It seems like more people are willing to say, “I’m sick” than “I’m sorry,” or “I have sinned.” We have become a nation of dysfunctional victims with all kinds of imaginary diseases. It seems like no one wants to take responsibility for their actions any more.

So to the disciples, the Lord said, “Did you catch anything?”

Before we can find God’s forgiveness, and indeed, His restoration, we must first admit our need. No excuses. No blaming others. Instead, just honest confession as we take responsibility for our own actions.

Praying that we all move past our failure
Pastor Mike


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