Failure Is Not An Option

The apocryphal expression “Failure is not an option” that is accredited to NASA’s mission control director Gene Kranz in the 1995 Ron Howard film Apollo 13 is a powerful testament of the determination everyone involved had during the week-long crisis that astronauts Jim Lovell, Fred Haise, and Jack Swigert endured on their failed mission to the Moon. The odds were grim and the world waited patiently in hopes that they would safely return to Earth.

Our lives are much like that of Apollo 13. We all have goals in mind that we want to reach. For some they are small, while others shoot for the Moon. No matter the goal in sight, we strive to work toward seeing them fulfilled. There are things, though, that can happen along the way that can alter our ‘flight plan’. When they happen we feel defeated and often times we just want to give up and believe that we have failed. When the Service Module of Apollo 13 was damaged, the crew felt the sudden defeat of having lost the Moon, but that didn’t stop them from addressing the problem at hand – getting back home. How do we respond when we feel that we’ve lost something? A deeper question might be, what was it that caused us to get off course?

As a Christian, our main goal is to enter into a personal relationship with Jesus so that we may know Him and live our lives accordingly through his Word. When you’re in a relationship with someone who you love, the last thing you want to do is do wrong by them. Being a Christian doesn’t mean that you will stop doing the wrong thing. We still have the ability to sin and will continue to no matter how hard we try not to. And sometimes we’re going to sin and it will be a very conscious choice. What happens after we sin? If we’re aligned with Christ in our hearts, the first thing we’re going to feel is guilt, so then we ask for forgiveness and repent.

Acts 3:19 says:

“Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord,”

This is where Satan likes to comes in and attack us with one of the biggest lies he’s ever told, and that is that we’re not worthy. Satan likes to try to keep us in a position of feeling like a failure in our relationship with Christ. He lays some pretty big guilt trips on us, and too often we listen to him, and it keeps us off course and prevents us from getting back home where we belong. That’s a dangerous place to be because it keeps us from having what God wants for our lives.

So, what do we do? Do we see ourselves has failures having lost our goal? Do we get down on ourselves for what we’ve done to sin against Christ and believe the lie that we’ve messed up too many times for God to even care about us anymore? Do we consider ourselves to be a failure? With Christ, failure is not an option. It never has been and it never will be.

Genesis 3:15 says:

“And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise you on the head, And you shall bruise him on the heel.”

Adam and Eve were on a path that followed God. That course was altered severely causing them to lose paradise. The Moon was lost for Apollo 13 after something damaged their course, but just like the people at mission control that created a plan to bring them home, God the Father had a plan to save His creation and bring us back home to Him.

When we sin, it’s true that the consequence of our actions may alter our course, even perhaps causing us to miss out on certain things completely, but we’re never going to miss out on Jesus. Our sins are washed clean and God chooses to forget them. He does this through our acceptance of salvation. Some people believe that sin is in the world because God is punishing us. First off, God doesn’t use sin as a form of punishment. Sin itself is not a punishment, it is a consequence of a willful action that rejected God. God created a perfect world in which he placed people. Mankind chose to reject God, and by doing so people are responsible for their fall. That’s the consequence. The punishment for that is death.

Romans 6:23 reads:

“For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

When Christ rose from the dead he took with him the keys to death and it no longer has a hold over us. Death has no power where there is Christ, and neither does sin.

If we feel guilty because of sin count that has a good thing. It means that we’re aware of our actions and not living with reckless abandon. If we find ourselves off course that doesn’t mean we’ve lost. Jesus is our new flight plan. We have to be determined to keep our hearts fixed on Christ. Remember, our relationship with him is our main goal in life, and once we’ve entered into that, nothing is too great to ever damage us to the point of not being able to return to Him.