The Fruits Of Failure

“What would you do if you knew you could not fail?”

I was on the RELEVANT message board when I came across this question. It intrigued me. I immediately began thinking about what my answer would be. Strangely enough, nothing came. Sure, I would love to be a rock star or the next J.R.R. Tolkien, but to simply get there with no challenge does not really appeal to me. There would be no character building, no lessons and no growth. That seems to me a drab and dismal future, even if I was the biggest rock star in the world. I much rather prefer my present life of ups and downs, successes and failures, joy and sadness.

Failure is one of life’s greatest teachers – it has taught many unwilling pupils lessons that have changed them forever. Were failure not possible, an adequate substitute would be impossible to find. We cannot reach the summit of success without going first through the valley of failure. But what if we could? Then we would not be succeeding – we would simply exist. If the incline is removed from the mountain it ceases to be a mountain. A plain is all that’s left. The essence of success is that you overcome obstacles, trials and hardships. You fail. But you move on. There would be no thrill for the Olympic athlete who is handed the gold medal without even competing. Sure, they have the gold, but it is meaningless. It becomes meaningful when they compete – when they know that they can either fail or succeed. When they fail, it hurts. But when they do succeed, the gold is priceless.

It is too bad that Christians are often so terrified of failure. We have the power of the resurrected Christ within us, and yet we are too scared to start living out our God-given dreams because we are afraid that we might fall. So we hold on to them. Unfortunately, many of them never reach fruition because of our fears. We doubt ourselves, which is good. However, our decision on whether or not to pursue our dreams should not hinge on our own abilities. It should hinge on God’s abilities. Perhaps we need to ask ourselves a different question: “What would I do if I knew God could not fail?”

Most of us would say that we know God does not fail. But how much do we believe it? Are we willing to put it to the test in our own lives? Are we willing to let Him do the work He wants to do through us, or are we going to cower away from Him because of our own inadequacy and the possibility that we might fail? Do we trust Him? Do we truly believe it when we say, “My God does not fail?”

Thankfully, God does not hand us our fulfilled dreams on a silver platter. He wants us to fight for them. He wants us to be willing to risk failure. He wants us to decide that reaching the goal He’s set before us is worth falling on our faces – whether it be once, five times, or a hundred times. He wants us to trust in His ability to pull us through. It is a risky thing because it means relinquishing control of our lives. It means we will probably fail. It’s dangerous and it might even hurt sometimes, but it’s the only way to reach the goal.

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Will we take the risk?

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