Thursday, December 4, 2008

Defeating the Fear of Failure

"Seth Godin, one of today’s best marketing minds, wrote a blog post last week entitled “Is it worthy?”

Godin reflects on whether any of his efforts are worth the investments and sacrifices of others, or whether someone else could have done better with the resources that he has been given.

Godin concludes his reflection:

The object isn’t to be perfect. The goal isn’t to hold back until you’ve created something beyond reproach. I believe the opposite is true. Our birthright is to fail and to fail often, but to fail in search of something bigger than we can imagine. To do anything else is to waste it all.

There is much to affirm here. Yes, we fail and fail often. Yes, we should participate in something unimaginably big. And, no, the fear of failure should not keep us from continuing in this pursuit.

Godin’s remarks also raise two questions for me:

1. Is searching for “something bigger than we can imagine” enough, or do we need to find something, too?

The seeking is essential, but only because what we find is so wonderful. The asking is important and valuable because of the answers.

I sought the Lord, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears.
Those who look to him are radiant, and their faces shall never be ashamed….
The young lions suffer want and hunger; but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing. (Psalm 34:4-6, 10)

2. Can we be set free from the fear of failure by telling ourselves that it is in our nature to fail?

In part, yes, but for the Christian there is far more. The fear of failure is ultimately conquered through Christ. We need to…

…own up to our sin—the real failure. We fall short of and belittle the glory of God by pursuing our own greatness. (Romans 1:18-23;3:23)
…change our goal. In faith, we should pursue the glory of Christ, the perfect one, rather than our own perfection. (Galatians 5:1-5)
…trust in Christ for our perfection, because we are judged according to his righteousness as he intercedes on our behalf continually before God, the Father. (Hebrews 4:14-16)"

June 22, 2008 | By: Lukas Naugle
Desiring God


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    GDS Theme Passage

    "For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus
    Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for
    Jesus' sake. For God, who said, 'Let light shine
    out of darkness,' has shone in our hearts to give
    the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in
    the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure
    in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power
    belongs to God and not to us."
    - 2 Corinthians 4:5-7

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