Sunday, April 23, 2017

Are You Afraid of Failure?

"So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." Isaiah 41:10

Are you afraid of failure? Do you find yourself hedging on stepping out because you think you might fall?

There is an element of risk in every venture, but may I suggest that fear of failure needs to be defanged so you can move forward? See, when you know Someone Who will love you even if you fail, you can have courage to try in spite of your fear. Relax, My Friend, His opinion of you is not riding on whether you get this next  thing "right"or not. 

Maybe how God will view you is not why you fear failure. Maybe it's that you have so much to lose if you fail. Your finances, your health, the faith others have invested in you may be what's at stake. I understand. You want to do the right thing, and you have every good intention, but still, what if you slip? How do you fail-proof your life? Can you?

 I think your focus has to change. 

See, in the life of faith, failure is measured differently than in the world. Failure with God is measured in how we respond to Him in our hearts. Failure to God looks like disobedience or unbelief. Failure to the world is about performance and how close to perfection you can get. Have you noticed that if and when you reach that standard, they erect a new one that's even higher? How exhausting! 

God offers a better way, My Friend. If you are in Christ, perfection was already achieved for you. Now you get to aim for something far better: holiness. You're not even doing it by yourself, you have a Guide Who lives in you, speaks to you, loves you, and grows you. He is called the Holy Spirit and holiness is what He does with your cooperation. 

Now, back to our original question: Are you afraid of failure? Have you caught on that it's possible to not get it right, but still succeed where it counts?  Is it clicking that failure has to be more intentional when God's Spirit lives in you to keep you from falling? I am not suggesting you can reach perfection this side of Heaven. I am suggesting the Spirit can make your life fertile because failures become opportunities to learn more of Jesus. They are not permanent marks that flog your spirit and brand ugly names on your identity. Failure is a pencil mark that can be erased by the grace of God and the residue is recycled as learning and progress. That even feels good to think about, doesn't it? 
Breathe it in. It's the fragrance of the abundant life and it relaxes all those tense and harsh "should's", turning them into, sweet "by the power of Christ, I can's."

Fear of failure? No need. Freedom to try? Yes! If you fall down while trying, His grace will pick you up and strengthen you for the next try. Smile, Daughter of God. You are His Girl, and your Daddy is inviting you to step out and try new things for His glory! Now go slay it and tell me about it so we can victory dance together! 

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