It's Not How Many Times You Fall

“It’s not how many times you fall, ...” You probably can finish the saying.


As I entered the house recently, the storm door closed quicker than I expected catching my foot and I hit the floor. It was embarrassing – and painful! That kind of thing may not have happened to you, but there is one kind of “stumbles” that has. Because our falling is not just physical – it happens in spiritual things, also.


Romans 3:23 says that we “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” It’s not just shortcomings or mistakes. The Bible uses words like transgression, unrighteousness, wickedness, iniquity, evil. But whether it is a mistake, a shortcoming, or sin in all of its blackness, the point is that ALL are guilty. And this statement still holds true for all of us — it’s not how many times you fall down ....


It’s not just shortcomings or mistakes. The Bible uses words like transgression, unrighteousness, wickedness, iniquity, evil. But whether it is a mistake, a shortcoming, or sin in all of its blackness, the point is that ALL are guilty. And this statement still holds true for all of us — it’s not how many times you fall down ....


Because all of us will “fall down” — we will sin, commit iniquity, do wickedness, be unrighteous and evil. If you are thinking “that’s not me,” go read the early verses of 1 John. Look at the description of one who claims to have no sin. You see, when we say we have no sin, it is like we’ve fallen down, but we won’t admit it. That’s why this statement is so important. It’s not how many times you fall down ...


What matters is whether you get up.


Read Psalm 51. David fell down. He fell hard. In fact, he fell again and again. And for a while, he didn’t get up. But with the visit of Nathan, he realized where he was. He admitted what he had done. And he got up.


That is why you read these words of David in Psalm 51: “Have mercy upon me” (v. 1). “Blot out my transgressions” (v. 1). “Wash me” (v. 2). “Cleanse me” (v. 2). “Purge me” (v. 7). “Hide thy face from my sins” (v. 9).


Getting up involves the heart. Listen to David again — “create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me” (v. 10). The heart that recognizes sin for what it is. The heart that realizes that you have fallen. The heart that refuses to stay down. The heart that reaches up to God seeking cleansing and a renewed spirit.


When you fall down, remember, what really matters is that you get up.


Thomas Larkin

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