what chris brown taught me

Image To say that I've had some big failures in my life is an understatement. I knew that I couldn't do a series about fear without discussing that. My Intangible Cage started 4 weeks ago and will finish next week. It has been a time of talking about the fears that hold us back from who we were made to be. Believe me, I have quite a few of those fears.

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Just about a year ago when my blog was starting to see some significant growth, I did something stupid. Really stupid. I wrote a post that was very personal and perhaps a bit controversial. I got a comment from an "anonymous" reader. It was bashing my point of view and accusing me of being arrogant. ( It has been deleted, so no need to scour the archives to see it) At least, that is what I thought it was.

In all my wisdom I tweeted " Got my first hater on the blog today".  Right. So, turns out that "anonymous" was not so anonymous. It was a friend whom I had known from childhood. Who follows  followed me on social media. My stomach sank as I read her email.

She let me know that her comment was simply a different opinion and since when did I get so arrogant to publicly mock someone for attempting civil discourse? She had changed to a different faith around college and I was pretty much her only tie to her Christian past. But now she wanted to cut ties completely. She blocked my calls, emails and de-friended me on social media. She hasn't talked to me since.

Fail. Epic, sweeping, keep me up at night failure. It made me seriously consider stopping blogging all together. I could not get over how immature I had been. I should not be trusted with a blog.

But, I learned something about fear & failure from an unlikely source.

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Please stop cringing. I know that Chris Brown is not the standard go-to example for things. Remember when he was arrested for beating Rihanna in 2009? I can think of few things that are bigger failures. To not simply disappoint people, but commit a terrible act. Maybe one of the worst in my opinion.

The news was ruthless and the public slammed him. Which, you know, he deserved. If I were him, I would have moved to some obscure village in the Himalayas and tweeted continual apologies. But, he didn't retreat to a rural mountain village. Chris Brown apologized, got help and then came back.

Back on the red carpet, back in the news, back onto the music scene & even got back together with Rihanna. I'm sure you have an opinion on their whole dating situation, but I'd prefer you tell Perez Hilton and not me. The point is that he didn't stay down.

Everyone knew he did something terrible. Chris Brown failed. Not just failed but was flat-out awful. He was mocked. He was guilty.

I am not excusing what he did & I genuinely hope that he has changed.  Like him or not, he came back. Hate me for saying it, but I admire his courage. Chris Brown showed me that just because I failed doesn't mean I have to remain a failure.

There are days where I totally hate what I do. Embarrassment crashes down and I chastise myself with unforgiving thoughts. A self-inflicted punishment sends me back into my intangible cage. I don't deserve to be let out. I will only mess up and be humiliated again. That is the thinking of someone with no Savior. And that isn't me.

I have a Savior. One who isn't intimidated by my brokeness and my sin. Failure no longer remains a fear.

No need to keep my head down when I don't measure up. The days I say and do stupid things do not have to define me. My lack does not dictate my future. Your lack does not dictate your future. God is bigger. He covers us, forgives us, and makes all things new.

We will fail but we will not remain failures. Our lack & weakness will be overrun by endless Grace & Mercy. 

It is week 5 of our series. The week we stop exiling ourselves to our cages. The week we stop glaring at our shame and look our Savior in the eyes instead.

Goodbye fear of failure.

Hello courage to risk & try again.