When was the last time you failed? Was it huge or a small mistake, a breakdown or a collapse – or have you intentionally suppressed memories of your failure?
Most of us hate failure. Failing makes us feel ashamed. It threatens our identity – as if our identity could be built on consistent, flawless performance.
We need to remember, however, that failure is a significant and important part of life. The only way a child will ever learn to walk is by failing thousands of times. People of great accomplishment have a long string of failures to which they can very easily point.
Winston Churchill, widely regarded as one of world’s great wartime heroes, defined success as “going from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.”
The best way to deal with a fear of failure is to press ahead, try some new things and fail a few times. You will find that the fear of shame associated with the fear of failure is ten times worse than the actual failure....
Sometimes people believe many of the “right” things about God and have fairly solid theology, yet their lives seem none the better for it. How can this be? Often we have rebellious rumblings under the surface of our consciousness. They can go undetected unless we take time to allow them to surface and intentionally address them.
Worry is one such rumbling that can rob our spiritual lives. It is a deceptive thought/feeling. It can make us feel like we are being responsible when we are not. Worry never helps a situation. Jesus told His disciples not to worry about their lives, clothes or food. He asked, “Who by worrying can add one hour to their life?” (Luke 12:24) Paul said not to worry or be anxious about anything, but instead to
bring our concerns to God. (Philippians 4:6) Peter exhorts us to cast all our anxiety upon the Lord who cares for us. (1 Peter 5:7)
Doubt can also creep into our relationship with...
Most of us live in deep fear of being found out. We are scared of people knowing us deeply; our weaknesses, inadequacies, fears, doubts and sin. We are deeply ashamed of our condition. Yet, we all have darknesses – we are all very flawed, and our responses to our conditions are
peppered with brokenness.
Coming clean with who we are and what we have done can feel terrifying … apart from the grace of God. Letting others, God or even ourselves know just how corrupted parts of our souls are raises fears. We are afraid of being judged, condemned – or worst of all – rejected. So, we are tempted to deny or hide our “stuff.” We try to tell ourselves and/or others that we either didn’t do what we did, or that it wasn’t really sin when we did it. We often coat our motives with feigned good intentions. We perform these mental gymnastics because it’s too scary to admit the truth about ourselves … apart from the grace of God.
Is there anyone who really knows you, who has experienced the big events of your life with you, who knows your feelings and perspectives? You may have a few people who have shared in some (or even most) of the significant happenings of your life, but no one has really been there with you through them all. Even the people who have been with you haven’t really seen and experienced what you have. They have seen things from their own unique perspective. They may have experienced many things with you, but not inside you. Only God knows you like that! Every memory that you have can be shared with God. He was there, not just with you but WITH you. He is the only One with whom you will ever really, really, really be able to share your life. He knows you inside out (literally and figuratively), and He wants to share your life with you.
So, why do we so often keep God at a distance, only sharing “our religious lives” with Him? Is it because we think that if...