Now that, my friends, is comedy. It's also very true, isn't it? This has been an interesting week in my world - how about you?

I have visited a great deal of my past failures this week, and looking at how I constantly come back to repeat those same basic failures over and over again. The trail looks different now, and hopefully, a bit more like the Gospel than before, but failure is still a big part of my life. How about you?

I realized this week how much I still run from, and fear, conflict. Are you a consummate conflict avoider, too? It makes me physically sick to my stomach, which is another thing I hate. I'm vehemently opposed to puking - my streak now stands at 54 weeks. Before that, it had been years since I last drove the porcelain bus.

In the past, when conflict reared its' head, I would avoid it - strike that - run from it. The difference then, was that I ran into porn or sexual relationships. That always made me feel loved and worth something - and hey, realistically, who can think about a conflict in the middle of sex? Do you see how our addictions mask our pain, but don't treat it? I ran for sex or porn over and over again, but when I re-entered the real world, the conflict was still there, only it was bigger and hotter, which only scared me more. So what did I do? I ran back to porn or sex to mask my pain and fear. That, my friends, is the vicious cycle of addiction. That is why we laugh cynically when told, "Just stop doing that!" Trust me, we would if we could. We don't like it. We really don't. It just seems to be a much better idea than facing our imperfection.

This week, I realized that I still run from conflict. Thankfully, I don't run to porn or sex anymore, but I do still run from it. I know how stupid this sounds, trust me - it doesn't get any better. Thankfully, and by the grace of God, I don't run to porn or sex. Now I just run and hide from it. That really sucks, and I want that to change.

Again, I find myself in need of the help and hope of a Gospel driven community.

Teresa, my wife for those of you scoring at home, was simply trying to ask questions about some things regarding the cafe our church is opening. She was trying to help me as she could see me running from the conflict and potential of failure, and for her trouble, I snapped at her. Why? Because I would rather have avoided the situation than admit my need for help in solving it. Sadly, the old man lives on within me. The journey to sanctification marches on.

Now I must go back to the cross and surrender this to my Father.

I think this picture about mistakes is hysterical and relevant to me. It's also relevant to you. We all have failures in our lives, and we do need to serve as warnings to others. We should not be afraid to expose our failures so that others can learn from them, and be encouraged by the hope of the Gospel.

Jesus is not surprised by our failures. Look at Luke 21:31-32, "Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers." The sovereignty of God is overwhelming to me.

He knew that Peter was going to really blow it, but in these two sentences he explains that he has authority over Satan, and that he wants to use Peter's failure to build the kingdom. "He wants to sift you as wheat, Pete, but I have prayed for you. And, hey, when (not if) you have turned again, strengthen your brothers." Amazing. Peter's failure was to be used as a warning to others - including you and me.

Our failures are to serve as warnings to others, too. Christ knows our failures before we do, and he wants to use them to build the kingdom and warn others. It is through this, that God is glorified in our failures. This is why we can boast in our weaknesses so that God can be magnified.

I think this is amazing. How about you?

Speaking of letting our failures serve as a warning to others, The Alabama Baptist asked me to write a series of articles on pornography for them. The first ran this week, and if you are interested, you can view that by clicking this handy-dandy link.

Have a great week, and hey - go expose a failure to someone this week to serve as a warning to others. It's the horizontal axis of the Gospel - engage it!

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