It’s my birthday. If you know me, you know that this is a time of year when I typically do some reflection and ponder life a little bit (here’s an example). As I’ve reflected on this past year of my life and where it fits in the general direction of my life, I realized something: The longer I live, the more thoroughly unimpressed I become with myself.

I spent a lot of years of my life growing in my view of myself. I spent a lot of years genuinely believing (and interacting with others) as if I was somehow better than the average person. Of course it wasn’t conscious, but it was always there. And to a certain extent, it still is. But one of the ways God’s grace has been active in my life this past year has been his allowing me to fail.

I’ve failed in my marriage. I’ve failed in my fathering. I’ve failed in my friendships. I’ve failed at keeping my word. I’ve failed in my sanctification. I’ve failed in my preaching and pastoring. I’ve failed in my walk with God. And not just once, either. I’m often impatient, frequently grouchy or melancholy, often motivated by the fear of people rather than the fear of God, and most days I’m more thrilled by ‘stuff’ than by communion with the Creator. And I’m a pastor.

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