If you could accomplish anything in the world, and you knew you could not fail, what would it be?
Would you write a book?
Would you start a business?
Would you start a blog?
So many times in my life, the fear of failure has limited what I have been able to do – simply because I would not give it a try.
What will people think if I fail?
Who will this affect if I fail?
Will I be embarrassed if I fail?
The truth is, I was limiting my opportunities to succeed because my fear of failure kept me from even trying. For most people it is not the fear of succeeding, winning, or being recognized. Instead, it is the FEAR OF FAILING. We can become paralyzed from any further action to accomplish what we are being called to do, simply by mentally processing through a failure that MAY occur along the way.
The first thing we have to realize is that it is not by our own strengths that we accomplish anything anyway. None of us are smart enough, strong enough, or talented enough to do anything God has called us to do, the way He wants us to do them.
In 2 Corinthians 3:5, Paul tells the people of Corinth, “It’s not that we think we are qualified to do anything on our own, our qualifications come from God.”
Paul realized after his encounter with Jesus on the road to Damascus that he was not in control of what he was called to do. He knew that his calling was only going to be fulfilled by the power that God gave him through His Spirit.
God uses the personality (that He gives us), the spiritual gifts ( that He gives us), and our passions (that He gives us) to equip us to do what He is calling us to do.
When we change our perspective on failure, we expand our possibilities of success. Failure should never be a stopping point. Failure is a great opportunity to grow, sharpen, and expand the gifts and abilities the Lord has given us.
The common denominator in all people who succeed is that they were willing to fail. They did not allow failure to be the element that would keep them from success. We have all heard the stories of Sam Walton, Walt Disney, Henry Ford, and the list goes on.
What about the Bible? Well, there are a few folks in there who failed and yet went on to have pretty good success – like Moses and King David.
And, what about Joseph? This dude went through a roller coaster of successes and failures. He was born into a good family, had some dreams God gave him, made his brothers mad, was sold into slavery, got a good job with Potiphar, whose wife hoodwinked him, was put into prison, interprets some dreams, gets out of prison, gets a REALLY good job with Pharaoh, and saves tons of people, including his family and the people of God.
You and I will fail.
It is inevitable.
What will make the difference is our perspective of failure; it will keep us from or propel us toward success. Not worldly success, godly success. Succeeding at what God created and saved YOU to do.
Just as He did in Joseph, God uses those failures to refine us, so that He can use us to do what He saved us to do.
So, let’s change the question a bit: What would you do if failure was not a problem?
For deeper insight, check out the “Chasing Failure” study plan on the YouVersion bible app.