Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Proverbs 31 and a Perpetual Sense of Failure

If you are like me, there are days when you read Proverbs 31 with a sinking
sensation. "I don't do that." "I need to do better at that." "I don't do that." "I've never done that." "Okay ... I try that, but I'm not very good at it." 

Isn't it just like the Enemy of our Souls to take one of the most beautiful tributes ever written and use it to create a perpetual sense of failure?

Some friends and I have been discussing the woman who inspired Proverbs 31 (you can read about her here:

To be quite honest, there are days when we are tempted not to like her very much. She's just too perfect.

The phrase that always gets me first is "rising before dawn." I've never been able to establish that supposedly perfect and ideal routine. I cannot count the number of times I have promised myself that I will get up at 5:00 a.m., read the Bible, pray, work out, and have a piping hot breakfast ready for the family when they awaken.

I fail. Failed. Have failed. Will fail. Failure. That's me. 

It seems to me that the Enemy too often takes my honest belief that the Bible is literal truth and twists it into something that, instead of producing good fruit, produces an unholy sense of abject failure ... a temptation to "just give up, already, you're never going to get a gold star."

I've spent the last few years trying to find a balance in my faith walk that doesn't leave me feeling like a perpetual failure God is about to whack over the head. 

I think this passage provided a lyrical way of saying a good woman works hard. If I don't "rise before dawn," it doesn't necessarily mean I'm doomed to be a failure in God's eyes (and honestly I have felt that way). 

I think it's okay to envision the actual woman who inspired Proverbs 31 being just as amazed as I am when I read about her today. I envision tears rolling down her cheeks as she looks at her son, the author, and says ... "Really? You see me that way?" Sort of the ancient version of me when I read one of "those" Mother's Day cards. You know the ones I mean.

Now ... don't take this too far. I'm NOT saying I give up and I won't even strive for the mark. God's Word is powerful and it accomplishes what it was meant to accomplish. Proverbs 31 is the ideal. I should strive for the mark. But sometimes I should also give myself a break, already. A perpetual sense of failure isn't what it's about. 

1 comment:

  1. You encouraged me this morning Steph. =) As far as Proverbs 31 the end "the woman that fears the Lord is to be praised...." and in OUR end...that will be what really matters....