Your failure and God’s Grace…

I read this past week where there is actually a Phobic Society of America for people with different fears. They have 3,500 members; at their convention last year only 200 showed up because of some reason or another they were afraid to go — flying, large groups, etc.

It’s interesting to me that we all have different fears we have to face and deal with. Some people have fought in combat but they’re not about to visit a dentist. Others climb mountains and cliffs but if somebody were to ask them to speak in front of 15 people it would kill them.

A recent survey showed that one of our greatest fears is — the Fear of Failure. In America we idolize success. Failing is almost the unpardonable sin. Nobody wants to fail. Some people would do anything to win — lower their morals or whatever. It creates great stress on people.

The fear of failure has many different faces. It can cause you to be indecisive. You can’t make decisions because you’re afraid you’re going to make the wrong one. The fear of failing can make you a workaholic. You never slow down, never rest, or relax, because you’re afraid of failing. The fear of becoming a failure can make you a perfectionist. You’re never satisfied. It’s never just right.

Research has shown that the more successful you are the more you tend to fear failure. The fear of failure, experts say, is most severe among talented people. How many of you have known the answer to a question but you were afraid to raise your hand?

The Bible tells us there are at least four antidotes to the fear of failure.

1. Remember, everybody fails. 2. Realize it’s not fatal. 3. Recognize the benefits. 4. Relax in God’s grace.

Let’s take a couple of weeks and look at each of these:

1. REMEMBER THAT EVERYBODY FAILS.

Have you ever made any mistakes? Welcome to the human race. It just validates your humanity. James 3:2 “We all stumble in many ways.” I hear people say, “What if I fail?” I want to say, “What do you mean “if?” The facts of life prove we have failed many, many times in life. I know it sounds so negative, but it is so true.

We all stumble in many ways. The wise man Solomon said in Ecclesiastes 7:20 said, “There is no one on earth who does what is right all the time and never makes a mistake.” Nobody is perfect. The closest you’re ever going to get to perfection is when you’re filling out a job application. That’s the perfect you right there. We all stumble, even the super stars. The average NBA player only makes 50% of his shots. That means they miss every other time. The guy with the best batting average flirted with the 400 mark. Nobody has done that since Ted Williams. He didn’t get there. That means 6 out of every 10 times he went to bat he walked back to the dugout and he was the best in the league. Even the superstars strike out. Everybody fails. Failure is going to be a part of the rest of your life. It’s Ok, it’s normal, and it’s part of being human. The Bible says it like this, “All have sinned and fallen short…” [I heard the story of a pastor who was preaching on this verse “All have fallen short…” and he said, “Thank God that He forgives our falling shorts!”] But it’s true! We all have falling shorts! Or short fallings!

When you let go of your image of being perfect, the fear of failure will let go of its grip of you. Just realize: I have failed, I am failing in some area now, and I’m going to fail in the future in some area, but its just part of being a human. I’m not God. [Chevy Chase says, “I’m Chevy Chase and you’re not.” God says, “I’m God, you’re not!”] Everybody fails.

To admit we fail is not wrong. To declare ourselves failures and refuse to get up and go on after we fail is wrong. Someone is reading this now and you have made such a mess of your life and feel you will never be able to recover and have a successful marriage, life or future. That is not so. Go ahead agree with God that you are not God, that you are not perfect, and let Him forgive you so you can get on with your life without continually camping around your shortcomings. It actually feels pretty good to acknowledge you can fail in God’s eyes without being a failure. It’s your choice. I hope you will choose to move on.

About Ron

Ron and Anne founded the first Christian Fellowship Church in Harlingen, Texas in 1982. Ron presently serves as its apostolic overseer. He travels nationally and internationally motivating and challenging people to be effective in their call and ministry to their local church, their community, and the marketplace.

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