Failure is Proof You’re in the Game
A result of my intentionally trying new things this year is the unintentional having to deal with more failure than I'm used to and because of that, I’m learning that it takes a particular mindset to fail repeatedly and not view yourself as a failure. It’s also caused me to look at the Apostle Peter with a new appreciation.
Peter was the kind of guy who would build the plane while he was flying it. You know...act now...think later. He also suffered from foot-in-mouth disease. Here are just a few examples:
I believe there are two interconnected reasons why Peter was able to fail repeatedly and not view himself as a failure.
First, he had tremendous faith. One thing that set him apart from the other disciples was that he was the first one of them to acknowledge that Jesus was the Messiah, the Chosen One sent by God. Jesus affirmed him in his confession and Peter knew he was loved. Peter didn’t just have faith in Who Jesus was, though. He also had faith in what Jesus said. Jesus promised Peter that He would use him to build His Church. It didn’t matter that Peter had failed before because Jesus’ promises were true and could be trusted.
Second, and here’s the connection. Peter’s faith led to obedience. He may not have done things perfectly, but he was out of the boat, trusting Jesus and learning to trust Him more. After His resurrection, Jesus told Peter to feed His sheep, and that’s exactly what Peter did. His failure taught him to trust that Jesus was with Him and would not let him down.
For lots of good reasons, God wired us to avoid pain and seek comfort. It’s how our ancestors sought shelter and stayed safe from the brutal elements and dangerous animals. However, God also calls us to a life of faith in Him, which requires us to step out of our comfort zones when He tells us.
The problem for many of us is that we care too much about our own egos or what others might think of us if we fail. So we stay in the practice room, where we can feel like we’re part of the team without ever stepping onto the field.
The practice room has its purpose, but Jesus wants us in the game. He gives us the training and then says: “Go!” This is what enables us to fail, knowing Jesus is with us. What’s more, we're not defined by our failures. We're defined by who Jesus says we are, and we can trust Him in the work He calls us to do.
So what is Jesus calling you to do in faith? Will you join me out on His field?
Weston Bryant coaches ministers to lead through faith and is the founder of Commission Leadership and is on the CSRM staff where he leads the Life Coaching Department. A long-time local church Sports Minister, Bryant now serves sports ministers in his role as a life coach. Bryant contributes a quarterly blog for CSRM designed to care for the Sports Minister's soul and empower them to step boldly into the work God has prepared for them. For more free discipleship resources, follow him on Facebook. Bryant can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org.