Dear Family and Friends of First,
You may have heard, “Failure’s not an option.” That’s true is some instances. But generally, failure is part of life. Did you know one of the greatest baseball players ever spent the equivalent of 7 seasons trying to hit a baseball into fair territory? Mickey Mantle struck out and walked over 3400 times, the equivalent of about 7 seasons. His perseverance led to over 2400 hits, including 536 home runs. Thomas Edison, one of America’s great inventors, failed thousands of times before he finally got it right – creating a technique to make cost effective light bulbs. Perhaps “failure” is too strong of a word considering the successes borne of failure.
Christians are called to be the “Light of Christ” in the world by “joyfully proclaiming God’s word and enthusiastically sharing Christ’s love” (Matthew 28:19-20 and 22:37-40). However, as we live out these words, we experience repeated failure. Loved ones and friends continually ignore us (or worse), leading us to give up hope. But St. Paul urges us to look beyond the failures and keep pushing forward. He writes, “Therefore, having this ministry by the mercy of God, we do not lose heart.” (2 Corinthians 4:1) What’s more, Paul reminds to stick to the truth found only in God’s word. To gain some success, we might be tempted to sugarcoat His word, trick people into accepting it, or otherwise try to take shortcuts to bring people to faith. Don’t! (2 Corinthians 4:2)
If people don’t listen to us as we live, speak, and act in the world in accord with the truth found in God’s word, that’s not our failure. It’s others who allow themselves to fall victim to “the god of this world … (who works) to keep them from seeing the light of the Gospel of the glory of Christ.” (2 Corinthians 4:4) So let us persevere in our witness to the world, shining the true light of Christ into the darkness of the world. Through us, the Holy Spirit WILL bring others into the Kingdom of God.
In Christ’s Love,