I failed. Again. I set a goal, worked hard, gave it my best … and failed. “Nobody died,” I reminded myself. “No one’s even hurt. And Nancy, who could be upset, isn’t.”

So why am I still struggling? Pride? Perhaps, but no one else knew my goal. My celebration would have been limited to a deep sigh of thankful relief.

Could it be a “spiritual attack?” Maybe. Behind my self-imposed wall of shame, it’s hard to form a prayer.

“… Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.” (1Peter 5:8, New American Standard Bible)

When we purpose to do our very best, pour our whole self into a task, striving for perfection and fall short, we may feel disappointed, confused and discouraged. “Why, Father? My earnest prayer, my heart, was to serve You with ‘excellence.’”

He whispered, “You did. You served to the best of your ability; I am pleased. Stop comparing yourself to your goal; My goal is never ‘perfection.’ Rather, My desire for you is a faithful heart, a heart that looks to Me, purposed on doing its best and serving with joyful obedience. In that, you have succeeded.”

Help us, Lord, to replace our goals with Yours.

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