Back at the beginning of January I wrote a post called “Grace… to Fail“. In it, I describe a day where I tried something in which “failure” felt quite possible. There was pure joy in that day knowing that despite the outcome, I tried something that my perfectionist, afraid-to-fail, self would have normally kept me from trying: auditioning for the Buffalo Philharmonic Chorus. How much sweeter that joy was as this past weekend, I enjoyed my first of what I hope to be many concerts with this great ensemble.
Unfortunately, these kinds of situations don’t always work out this way. Often, we miss these beautiful, joy-filled moments in life because we’re afraid to even try. It seems that so many other fears accompany this one… fear of how other people will react when we fail… fear of how we’ll recover… fear of how that may impact opportunities in the future… and more. Fears so often seem to compound. One “what-if” multiplies exponentially until we’re paralyzed and refuse to even try.
For me, this fear often plays itself out in my job. I get scared to try new things or explore possibilities, because … well, what if it fails. What I have had to remind myself again and again and again is that yes, something may fail, BUT it also may be WILDLY SUCCESSFUL! I need to trust that if God’s leading me, I can trust Him even if, in an earthly sense, it looks like something failed. Also, I have to remember that I’m human… and I will fail. A life lived only doing “safe” things (if that’s even possible) is… well… boring. Jesus tells us in John 10:10
“The thief [Satan] comes only to steal and to kill and to destroy. I have come that they may have life and have it abundantly!”
That fear that’s holding you back from trying things… yea that’s from Satan. He knows the power that’s in us if we move beyond that fear. He knows the full, joyful, abundant life Jesus has in store and desires to destroy it. He gets the fact that all he has to do to stop the amazing things God wants to do in and through our lives is to make us a little afraid. He, perhaps even more than us, understands the truth in these other powerful words of Scripture:
For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline. (2 Timothy 1:7)
We have power. We have love. We have self-discipline. God has given us those things. Fear is not from God. So let’s give up the fear of failure this Lent (and beyond), lean into God, and trust that when He’s calling us to do something, e will lead all the way. We may stumble and fall, but he is faithful and His love for us will NEVER fail!
Jesus, fill us with a spirit of power, love, and self-discipline. Strip away our fear of failure, that we may do great things in Your name and for Your glory! We give it up and ask you to give us courage instead to step out in faith and trust you for whatever the results may be. In Jesus’ Name, Amen!