Free to fail

August 23, 2010

Yesterday’s Sunday School lesson was on Job. (I’m afraid I spent most of the class rereading the chapter on Job in Margaret Barker’s The Older Testament instead of paying attention, but that’s just me.) If I had actually said anything I would have probably pointed out how Job can be seen as a type of Christ: a perfect man who suffers. (One of the things I did pay attention to was when Bro. Lusk said that if we’re not experiencing any adversity, we’re probably on the wrong path.)

So anyway, suffering and adversity is a part of life, and there’s good reasons for that. One of the reasons is we can’t really have freedom without it. Today at work I was reading Peopleware by Tom DeMarco and Timothy Lister. It’s a great book—you can read more about it on my work blog—and one of the things I read was:

The right to be right (in your manager’s eyes or your government’s eyes) is irrelevant; it’s only the right to be wrong that makes you free.

The way I’d put it is, “if you’re not free to fail, you’re not free.” That’s why Lucifer’s plan was so wrong; you can’t guarantee salvation without taking away agency. If our choices didn’t have consequences, they’d be meaningless. God’s plan gives us freedom with the perfect knowledge that that means we will fail, but then he provided Christ’s atonement so that after we’ve failed we can repent and move on.

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