You Need to Accept the Reality of Failure
“There is no one on earth who does what is right all the time and never makes a mistake.” (Ecclesiastes 7:20 TEV)
In America, failure is almost the unpardonable sin. We idolize success. But that kind of pressure creates major stress on people. The fear of failure has many different faces. It can cause you to be indecisive, a workaholic, and a perfectionist and cling to safety. Because we’re afraid to fail, we shun all kinds of risks.
For many of us, that fear of failure has an iron grip on our hearts. Even some of the best and the brightest people in the world are the most impacted by a fear of failure.
That’s why I urge you to internalize this one simple message: We’ve all made mistakes. It’s not just a “you problem”; it’s a human problem. The Bible says, “There is no one on earth who does what is right all the time and never makes a mistake” (Ecclesiastes 7:20 TEV).
Not only have you made mistakes in the past, but you’ll also make more in the future. I guarantee it. Even playing it safe and refusing to take risks is a mistake.
As a pastor, I hear people ask all the time, “What if I fail?” I want to ask them, “What do you mean if?”
You’ve already failed many, many times in life. So have I. You’re a failure in some area of your life right now. And you’ll fail a lot more in the future.
Even superstars stumble. The greatest professional basketball players only hit half their shots. The best professional baseball players will get out two out of every three at bats. Failure is normal.
You’ll never overcome your fear of failure until you fully accept the reality that you’re not perfect.
The Bible says there is only one failure you need to fear: “Be careful that no one fails to receive God’s grace” (Hebrews 12:15a NCV).
You need grace. We all do!
Only when we let go of the fear of failure will it let go its maddening grip on our lives. Only then can we accept the grace of God.
Talk It Over
Where in your life do you most fear failure, and why?
How does your fear of failure prevent you from taking important risks in your life?
How can you and a friend encourage each other to pursue God’s plan for your lives without fear of failure?
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This devotional © 2018 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.