BY RICK WARREN
“Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD is kept safe.” Proverbs 29:25 (NIV)
Satan’s favorite tool to diminish your faith is the fear of failure. But you cannot serve God and be constantly worried about what other people think. You have to move forward. Proverbs 29:25 says, “Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD is kept safe.” (NIV)
So how do you get rid of the fear of failure?
One way is to redefine failure. What is failure? Failure is not failing to reach your goal. Failure is not having a goal. Failure is not failing to hit your target. Failure is not having a target. Failure is not falling down. Failure is refusing to get back up. You’re never a failure until you quit. So if you’re attempting something for the glory of God, that’s a good thing. Failure is not trying and not accomplishing anything. Failure is failing to try.
Another way to get rid of the fear of failure is to never compare yourself to anybody else. You’re always going to find somebody who’s doing a better job, and you get discouraged. And, you’re always going to find somebody who’s not doing as good a job as you are, and you become full of pride. Both of them will mess up your life. Discouragement and pride will keep you from serving God’s purpose for your life.
The Bible says in Galatians 6:4, “Each of you must examine your own actions. Then you can be proud of your own accomplishments without comparing yourself to others.” (GW)
Did you notice that the Bible says there is a legitimate pride? There’s a good kind of pride and there’s a bad kind of pride. The bad kind of pride is comparing: “I’m better than so and so!” The good kind of pride is, “God, I’m proud of what you’re doing in my family, my business, my life, my walk of faith.” That’s the good kind of pride.
God hasn’t called me to be the best pastor in the world. God has called me to be the best pastor I can possibly be given the gifts, talents, and experiences he gave me. When you get to Heaven, God isn’t going to say, “Why weren’t you more like so and so?” He’s going to say, “Why weren’t you who I made you to be?”
Let go of your fear of failure, because anything you’re attempting for God in faith is a good thing, regardless of the results.
Talk It Over
-How has your fear of what other people think kept you from moving forward in faith?
-In what ways are you using your gifts and abilities to work toward your goals?
-What failures have kept you from pursuing your goals and dreams? What do you think God wants you to learn from those setbacks?