I fear nothing and yet I fear everything. I am not afraid of the dark, spiders, snakes (although they are super creepy, they don’t even have legs!) or any other specific thing, but at the same time I can be frozen with so much fear that I essentially do nothing. It can be something as simple as fearing that I find the best price for a big purchase or something as important as asking someone to sit down with me and learn about the ministry I will be joining.
No matter what the situation is I am struck, struck by a debilitating fear, a fear that can make me forget who I am and what I am doing.
I have seen this fear in me for quite some time. Looking back over my life I catch glimpses of when I would let the fear take over and I didn’t do things that I probably should have. You know, the girl I should have asked out, the opportunity during high school that seemed too nerdy (even for me, and that’s saying a lot) or the awesome idea I once had for a great invention, but did nothing about.
In the long run missing on some of these things probably won’t effect me too much, but what if…what if they did…or will?
What I have realized through much reflection on this recently is that I am afraid of failure. I’m afraid that if I ask a girl out, she will say no, or worse she will say yes and then I won’t be any good for her. I am afraid that if I take advantage of an opportunity that I won’t live up to the expectations of others and I will fail them. I am afraid to ask someone to join my ministry partner team because that means I will be going to Germany and I might be mediocre as a missionary (Fail!). I’m afraid that if I try to create something new, or take on bigger roles at church, work, etc. that I might not succeed and the organization will be no better off than when I started.
Failure is a fear that I think more people have than would like to admit. Failure is nothing to fear though and I am trying to learn that.
I am sure at some point you have read about all of the Presidents that failed many times before succeeding or you have experienced failure yourself a couple or couple dozen times before you finally figure it out, so I won’t go into that here. I want to look at what God says our response should be to failure.
Proverbs 24:16 – “Even if good people fall seven times, they will get back up. But when trouble strikes the wicked, that’s the end of them”
Notice that it says “if good people fall.” That insinuates that we tried and fell. You can’t fall if you haven’t even attempted to stand. Shoot even the wicked in this verse attempt to stand…once. Obviously this is not talking about me asking a girl out or taking a risk at work, but I think it still applies and the main thing I get from it is:
Stand up and then stand up again if necessary, but first and above all stand up!