Guest post by Jason Kastner
Well, it looks like the groundhog Punxsutawney Phil has predicted more winter after seeing his shadow a few Fridays ago. What’s the good news in all of that if you like sunny spring weather? He’s wrong more than 60% of the time! Not the best track record–but let’s not be too hard on a rodent!
But then there’s Walt Disney. Did you know at the age of 22, he was fired from the newspaper he worked for because he wasn’t “creative enough” and one of his first business ventures went bankrupt?
Some time ago our Life Group did a study on fear. One of the top ten fears common to all humans is the fear of failure. Personally, I admit it is something I struggle with daily. Fear that I am not the husband I promised to be, fear that I have let my kids down, fear that I made the wrong decision when treating a patient.
Or worse yet, fear that I’ve failed a perfect God.
Fear of failure can be crippling can’t it?
I frequently have to go back to 2 Timothy 1:7: “For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity but of power, love, and self-discipline.”
Could it be that failure is the tool that God wants to use to make us more reliant on Him and more like Jesus?
That certainly doesn’t sound like a bad thing when you really think about it.
King David (plenty of failures) seemed to understand this:
“The Lord upholds all who fall and lifts up all who are bowed down” Psalm 145:14
The Apostle Paul was apparently “crippled” with something when he penned this:
“Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:7-10
A closer look at these words reminds us that the common denominator for Him to make beautiful things out of our failure is–
Grace on His part and humility on ours.
Working this out is often done when no one is looking, but I love it when humility steals the spotlight on national television!
During the Super Bowl, Nick Foles, the backup quarterback for the Eagles who replaced the injured starter late in the season, helped lead Philadelphia to an improbable upset over the favored giant, Tom Brady and his New England Patriots. In one of his post-game interviews Nick said this:
“I think the big thing is don’t be afraid to fail. In our society today, with Instagram and Twitter, it’s a highlight. It’s all the good things. When you look at it, you have a bad day, you think your life isn’t as good, you’re failing. Failure is a part of life. It’s a part of building character and growing. Without failure, who would you be? I wouldn’t be up here if I hadn’t fallen thousands of times, made mistakes. We all are human. We all have weaknesses…I’m not perfect…we all have daily struggles. That’s where my faith comes in. That’s where my family comes in. I think when you look at a struggle in your life, just know that it’s an opportunity for your character to grow.”
Did I mention that he was also named MVP of the Super Bowl?
But you don’t hear that in his words, do you? No doubt, I’m sure he’s thrilled to have won the game and the trophy, but listen closely to Jesus (not Nick) shining through those comments.
Humility keeps it all in perspective.
God’s grace never disappoints!