(This week’s devotions are based on Sunday’s message: Win the Day…Kiss the Wave – LISTEN HERE)
Sometimes you win…sometimes you learn.
Most of the time you hear this phrase in this manner: “Sometimes you win and sometimes you lose.” With this mindset, there is no opportunity to “fail forward.”
John Maxwell, Leadership author, used both of these phrases: Sometimes you win and and sometimes you learn and “fail forward.”
Someone once said, “The cure for the fear of failure is not success. The cure for the fear of failure is failure, in small enough doses, that you build up an immunity to it. You need to identify the type of fear you’re dealing with—fear of failure, fear of rejection, fear of intimacy, fear of the future, fear of certain social situations. You have to identify it, then you don’t avoid it. You actually expose yourself to it, in small enough ways, that you build up some immunity to it.”
If you look at most inventors, we think of the huge success of their invention. Take the Wright brothers for example. We credit them with the invention of “heavier than air self-powered flight.” Having stopped at the Wright Brothers National Monument in Kitty Hawk, NC this past March on spring break, you realize again the multiple times they came out to Kitty Hawk from Ohio, back to Ohio to work on new designs, until on December 17, 1903 the invention took flight multiple times.
The Wright brothers learned from every failure. They built gliders, watched the birds, did wind tunnel experiments. None of them was a loss…they learned from failure.
Just last week, Space X launched the biggest rocket ever. It flew for just about 4 minutes before it failed. Space X is still open and most interviewed said, “Anything beyond the tower was better than expectations. We learned a lot to adjust for next time.”
Many fears are linked to fear of failure. Even those in our faith life. We stop trying to share our faith. We stop trying to improve our marriages. We stop trying to parent our kids. We stop trying…because we may fail, do it wrong.
But not doing it at all may be worse.
Consider Peter. We think of him for many of his failures. He began to sink after walking one water. He tried to stop Jesus from going to the cross after confessing him as Christ. He denied Jesus after boasting he would die with Jesus.
But here’s what Jesus did with the failed attempts. He used them to help Peter learn to walk by faith, face persecution, and confess boldly the message of Jesus. Peter failed forward.
After the resurrection, Jesus went directly to Peter to affirm him and commission him.
John 21:15 When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?”
“Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.”
16 Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.”
17 The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.”
Jesus said, “Feed my sheep.
Satan loves when fear paralyzes us. Jesus loves to forgive our failures and empower us to fail forward. He wants us to learn from our failures so that we become immune to fear. The result? Fear is overcome and the work of the Lord moves forward!
Apply: What fear of failure do you carry? How might you “unlearn” the messages that are keeping you in fear and learn from the experience to be better at that which you fear. Remember the Lord will help you overcome fear.
Prayer: Lord, with your help, your love, your courage, and your forgiveness, help me always to fail forward! AMEN.