Articles

Articles

The Expert

There are times in life that you just need to make a declaration. A firm statement of fact that cannot be denied. Today is such a day for me. I must make my ­declaration. So here goes…


I AM AN EXPERT!


That’s a fact. You may not realize this but I have been inducted into the Hall of Fame of Experts. It’s a unique shrine to folks who are the best of the best.


Please understand that I am not an expert in everything. I am not guilty of being the know-it-all that is convinced he has all knowledge. Jordan, Bird, and James are in the basketball wing of the HOF of ­Experts. I am not. Here are some areas that I am not an expert in…

 

  • I am not an expert at being a husband. I fail at that. I fail a lot. I read passages like Ephesians 5:25–33 and 1 Peter 3:7 and realize just how often I fail. I don’t always show the kind of love I should. I don’t always honor her as I should. I fail at being a good husband.
  • I am not an expert at parenting. I fail. A lot. I read Deuteronomy 6:4–9 and Ephesians 6:4 and realize just how much of a failure I am. I don’t study with my children like I should. I don’t watch how I respond to them and avoid anger as I should. I fail at parenting.
  • I am not an expert at loving my ­brethren. I read John 13:34–35 and I know my love for other Christians is how I should be identified. I realize that I should put other people ahead of myself (Philippians 2:1–5). It’s not that I don’t know what to do… I just don’t always do it. In fact, too often I don’t. I fail at loving my brethren.
  • I am not an expert at preaching the gospel. I understand preaching should be bible based and balanced (2 ­Timothy 4:2).  It should always be done in love (Ephesians 4:15). But I also know even though those are ­personal goals, I still fail. ­
  • I am not an expert at personal ­evangelism. I know I shouldn’t be ashamed of the gospel (Romans 1:16). I know I should be making disciples in every place (Mark 16:15–16). But too many times when I should teach, I allow fear to paralyze me. I become afraid of what someone might say or do when I ask them if they know Jesus. I fail at personal evangelism.
  • I am not an expert at controlling my tongue. James said it couldn’t be tamed (James 3:1–11) and I am living proof of that. I know I should listen more and talk less (James 1:19).  Too often I listen less and talk more. I fail at controlling my tongue.
  • I fail at controlling my thoughts. I understand that my thoughts give the direction for my life (Proverbs 4:23). I know I should control my anger, my emotions, and my desires (Matthew 5:21–22, 27–28). And I try. I really try hard. But I fail at controlling my thoughts.

That’s a lot of failure. A lot of falling short. A lifetime of mistakes.


So what am I an expert in? Here it is…


I AM AN EXPERT AT FAILURE.


Over and over again, I fail. I’ve done it all my life. You could say I have a Ph.D. in failure. I tell myself today is the day I stop failing… and before the day is over I’ve failed again. Paul felt the same way (­Romans 7:14–24). Don’t let that be a ­passage you glance across without ­reading… read it. Paul failed too. Just like me. And maybe… maybe just like you.


Here is the great news: failure is not final. We can have victory over failure. Here’s how Paul said it:


“Wretched man that I am! Who will ­deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.” (Romans 7:24–25)


Thanks to Jesus Christ, there is victory. I can overcome my failures. I know that means I no longer will be an expert. But I think I’m okay with that. Thanks be to God that He has provided the answer to my failures.