Jump directly to the Content
Jump directly to the Content

Sermon Illustrations

Home > Sermon Illustrations

God's Patience with Our Failures

R. O. Blechman is one of the most famous illustrators in the world. In his recent book, Dear James: Letters to a Young Illustrator, he shares a series of letters that he wrote to a younger fellow-illustrator. In one of the most poignant letters, Blechman addresses the reality of failure:

Preliminary drawings and sketches often are discouraging things, pale shadows of one's bold intentions. Seemingly nonsense, they're especially dispiriting for beginners … 'Is that what I did,' the novice might ask, 'and I consider myself an artist?! … Speaking for myself (but also for other illustrators, I'm sure), my trash basket is full of false starts and failed drawings … There should be a Museum of Failed Art. It would exhibit all the terrible art that would have ended up in trash bins and garbage cans, lost and unknown to the public life.

Surprisingly, the Bible contains a "Museum of Failed Discipleship." Over and over again, the Gospels record the "false starts" and spiritual failures of the disciples. Thankfully, they also record Christ's willingness to encourage and challenge his flawed disciples. We tend to cover up our heroes' faults; and we're even more likely to gloss over our colossal flops. Instead, the Gospels allow us to see the disciples' failures—and most of those stories came from the disciples themselves. This honesty provides encouragement to us when we feel like saying, "Is that what I did, and I consider myself a Christian?" Our security is in Christ who continues to love us even when we stumble and fail.

Related Sermon Illustrations

Father Teaches His Sons to Ski by Encouraging Falling

When I was growing up, my dad taught my brother and me to ski. I learned to love it. I remember the first time Alan and I skied for most of the day by ourselves. At the end of the ...

[Read More]

Museum Houses Failed Products

The city of Ann Arbor, Michigan, is home to one of the most fascinating museums on the planet. The facility run by GfK Custom Research goes under the informal name of the "Museum of ...

[Read More]