I know we all need the mercy and grace that God provides through his son, Jesus Christ. But probably all of us at times fail so much we think about giving up on living for him.
That is one of the reasons Paul is such an inspiration to me. He does not mention his specific weaknesses in this passage, but his passionate feelings seen in his description of his efforts at self-control tell me that at times he failed in his Christian walk. His thoughts in I Corinthians 9:26-27 give me comfort in my own struggles. He writes, “Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.”
From secular careers we have insight that failing is not fatal. Babe Ruth hit 714 home runs in his career, but he also struck out 1,330 times–a record.
Burma Shave, the first brushless shaving cream, was finally created with formula 143. Actually, the chemist was up to formula number 300 and then accidentally discovered that if you aged formula 143 for several weeks, you got a fine shave with it. If you have lived several decades, you may remember the roadside Burma Shave signs such as this one: “The whale put Jonah down the hatch, but coughed him up because he scratched—Burma Shave.”
Remember each new day is a new beginning. God does not give up on you; don’t give up on serving God.