This article was written by BCCand published by
For we do not want you to be unaware, brothers, of the affliction we experienced in Asia. For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead (2 Cor. 1:8-9).
Don’t beat yourself up for responding poorly to adversity. It’s a testimony that affirms your humanness. We talk about Paul as the great apostle to the Gentiles, which he was, but if you read 2 Corinthians 1:8-9, you’ll see that his initial response was not helpful to him or his relationships. Like you and me, he had to learn the lesson after he failed the test the first time.
Do not drift into morbid self-flagellation for not being as spiritual as you hoped you would be by now. Too often, the temptation is to stare in the rearview mirror while drifting into regret. If that is you, stop it. Capture that thought and bring it into the obedience of Christ. Recognize your normalcy rather than elevating your opinion of yourself, thinking you’re more than you are.
The rational, humble soul will own his failure but not drown in it. He will recognize his inability, as Paul did, and begin applying the lessons that Paul eventually learned after his initial losses. The first step of repentance is recognizing you made mistakes and sinned. As you see these things, own them and then make a plan to change while resisting all temptations toward worldly sorrow.