Fear of Failure

Fear of Failure

At a staff meeting this week, Nick asked us if there was a time in our lives when we had attempted something for God and failed. He then proceeded to give an example from his own life, when he was talking to someone who was going through a rough period, and he felt prompted by God to ask them if he could pray for them. He wrestled with this thought, and in the end, did not pray for them. I also was able to give a similar example from my life when having my haircut. The hairdresser and I were talking about the state of the world, when she said something like, “I think we are in the End Times”. I thought this might be an opportunity to go into a conversation deeper than the weather, but to my shame, I let it pass and simply said, “Yes”. Nick’s reason for asking for our examples or comments was to try to develop a culture at MBC where we encourage people to at least try, rather than do nothing out of the fear of failure, and that we support/encourage/comfort those who have tried and failed.

I am sure Nick and I are not alone in our responses to situations like these.  What it highlights in my mind, is the necessity for us to be constantly open to opportunities to pray for someone, take the conversation to a deeper level, offer our services, visit someone etc, etc.  There are many other types of opportunities I am sure when we are prompted by God to act.  The issue is not that there is a lack of these opportunities, but that we are not sensitive enough to hear God’s promptings or are immobilized by the fear of failure.  I am sure as Christians we all agree that not only does God speak to us through His word, the Bible, but also through the “still small voice” we sometimes sense in our minds.  Speaking from experience, I know that the trouble is I have “second-guessed” myself on some of these occasions and asked myself if it really was a God prompt.
 
Perhaps we should be praying for “spiritual antennae” that are sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s prompting, and the courage to obey regardless of what we may think would be the consequences.  After all, the Bible is full of examples of those who failed and who were still used by God afterward. Let us not let the fear of failure stop us from obeying these promptings, and even be prepared to ask God for opportunities to speak a “word in season”.
 
Blessings Ian