Proverb for Today
A just man falls seven times and rises up again. (Proverbs 24:16, MEV)
Quitting is so easy.
We fail, we mess up, and the easy thing to do is accept defeat, to give up. At least we can’t mess up again if we don’t even try another time, right?
“Besides,” we tell ourselves, “I’m just a failure anyways.”
I love today’s verse in Proverbs. It completely dismantles our defeatist mindset.
First, notice how the individual is described. They’re “just” or “righteous” before an account of their actions is given. So many times, I review the way a person lives before describing them as good or bad. What they do determines who they are. But let’s be real. We all mess up. If we were solely defined by our actions, we would all be failures, “bad” people, rejects, because none of us are perfect. In the midst of your failure, define yourself the way God does. As His child, your standing is found in Christ. Thus, in Christ, you are righteous or just. Not because of anything you’ve done, or merit you’ve earned, but because you’ve accepted the free gift of salvation Jesus gives.
Then, notice the inevitability of failure. The just man falls. It’s a fact. And in this verse, he fell seven times. That’s a lot of falling. In my book, I would’ve marked this track record down as a total failure. But as the proverb is trying to point out, it’s not the failure that defines us. Failure is guaranteed. What matters more than the failure is what we do after failure—how we respond to it.
When struck down by failure, the just man gets back up. He’s fallen seven times, and each time, gets back on his feet and keeps trying. This is the key. Keep getting up and try again.
Reflect and Respond
- Have you been defining yourself by your failures? Why?
- What areas of your life have you given up on? Where have you quit and walked away? It’s time to pick yourself up and try again.
- Who can you encourage to keep getting up, instead of accepting failure?