Afraid of Failure?


Why are we so afraid of failure?

We learn from failure. 
We gain in strength after we fail. 
The formal definition of failure is: lack of success; an unsuccessful person, enterprise, or thing; or the omission of expected or required action.
BUT
The origin of failure came from ‘nonoccurrence,’ which I equate to QUITTING. 
Dont quit. 
Never quit. 
One failure doesnt make YOU a failure.
It doesn’t define you—unless you allow it to do so.
Don’t let LABELS stick to you!

They cannot stick unless you agree with them. Don’t agree with them.
REJECT the labels!
You are larger than your failure!
In fact, you must fail to grow.

You must fail in order to find your limits so you can SOAR past them!
You are successful because you DO NOT QUIT.
You are a fighter!
You are strong!
You are stronger than your appetite!
You are stronger than the temptations!
You might miss a few marks before you figure out that you’ve GOT this.
Its ALREADY in you!
You are just getting the opportunity to pull it out of you!
So what if you fail again?
Just dust yourself off and keep moving forward.
Dont spend any time in the past because it will hold you back.  
If youre NOT FAILING, you’re NOT TRYING. 
Take a look at this chart I found on how much the usage of ‘failure’ has increased over the years.

… for though the righteous fall seven times, they rise again … (Proverbs 24:16 NIV)


Rise again! 

Afraid of Failure


Why are we so afraid of failure?

We learn from failure. 
We gain in strength after we fail. 
The formal definition of failure is: lack of success; an unsuccessful person, enterprise, or thing; or the omission of expected or required action.
BUT
The origin of failure came from ‘nonoccurrence,’ which I equate to QUITTING. 
Dont quit. 
Never quit. 
One failure doesnt make YOU a failure.
It doesn’t define you—unless you allow it to do so.
Don’t let LABELS stick to you!

They cannot stick unless you agree with them. Don’t agree with them.
REJECT the labels!
You are larger than your failure!
In fact, you must fail to grow.

You must fail in order to find your limits so you can SOAR past them!
You are successful because you DO NOT QUIT.
You are a fighter!
You are strong!
You are stronger than your appetite!
You are stronger than the temptations!
You might miss a few marks before you figure out that you’ve GOT this.
Its ALREADY in you!
You are just getting the opportunity to pull it out of you!
So what if you fail again?
Just dust yourself off and keep moving forward.
Dont spend any time in the past because it will hold you back.  
If youre NOT FAILING, you’re NOT TRYING. 
Take a look at this chart I found on how much the usage of ‘failure’ has increased over the years.

… for though the righteous fall seven times, they rise again…
(Proverbs 24:16 NIV)

Rise again! 

Milk Spill? No Problem

When I was young, everything got negative attention. Every negative thing I did was highlighted with a flashlight. When I became a mother, I vowed never to treat my kids in that manner.


One day, Chandler spilled her third cup of milk all over my floor—the carpet, of course. I thought I was going to lose it.


Chandler’s milk spill actually happened later on the same day I vowed not to lose it. So every time she spilled her milk, I responded with, “No problem.” I really said it behind gritted teeth because I did see it as a problem. I didn’t like the spilled milk everywhere; I was the one who had to clean it up. Still, I refused to respond out of my emotions, so I said, “No problem.”

God had something more to teach me through this. When my daughter spilled her milk for the third time, I realized that the spill did not define her as a person. She wasn’t a klutz. She wasn’t a spiller. She wasn’t negligent. She wasn’t irresponsible. She simply spilled her milk.


Chandler and I laughed together. We talked about the fact that God and I loved her so much and that would never change. No matter how bad the milk spill was, no matter how bad her mistakes were, God would always love her and so would I.

While I was sitting there, laughing and having a wonderful conversation with my child, telling her she’s not defined by her mistakes, I realized I did not fully believe that about myself. Deep down, I had based my whole identity on my mistakes. The constant criticism I received as a child played within me like a broken record. Every single time I failed, I was treated to that inward refrain: “You’re a failure.” Whenever I had the opportunity to try something new, I would turn it down. I would think, “Oh, I’m not good at that. I don’t want to try it because if I do, I may fail.” I wasnt willing to take risks or venture outside of my comfort zone. I was afraid of failure.


Then I read Jeremiah 1. God said to Jeremiah, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart (Jer. 1:5 NIV). I also read in Ephesians that God “chose us in him before the creation of the world (Eph. 1:4 NIV). God chose me; He formed me. God strengthens and protects me. He equips me to follow Christ, even when it’s outside of my comfort zone. That is my identity. I am not defined by the mistakes I made. What matters is who I am in Christ.

Now I take captive all of those negative thoughts and the broken record of parental criticism, and I replace them with the truth of God’s word in Jeremiah and Ephesians.


Now I choose to believe by faith in the truth of who God says I am, even when I don’t feel that way. I know I can rely on my identity in Christ. I know who I am. I am not defined by my actions. My mistakes don’t make me a mistake. I take negative thoughts captive in my own mind, and it makes me a better mom every time the milk is spilled.

Today I can tell my children without reservation, without gritting my teeth and grappling with frustration, that their identity is in Christ and a milk spill is no problem.

Afraid of Failure

Why are we so afraid of failure?

We learn from failure. 
We gain in strength after we fail. 
The formal definition of failure is: lack of success; an unsuccessful person, enterprise, or thing; the omission of expected or required action.
BUT
The origin of failure came from ‘nonoccurrence,’ which I equate to QUITTING. 
Dont quit. 
Never quit. 
One failure doesnt make YOU a failure.
It doesn’t define you—unless you allow it to do so.
Don’t let LABELS stick to you!

They cannot stick unless you agree with them. Don’t agree with them.
REJECT the labels!
You are larger than your failure!
In fact, you must fail to grow.

You must fail in order to find your limits so you can SOAR past them!
You are successful because you DO NOT QUIT.
You are a fighter!
You are strong!
You are stronger than your appetite!
You are stronger than the temptations!
You might miss a few marks before you figure out that you’ve GOT this.
Its ALREADY in you!
You are just getting the opportunity to pull it out of you!
So what if you fail again?
Just dust yourself off and keep moving forward.
Dont spend any time in the past because it will hold you back.  
If youre NOT FAILING, you’re NOT TRYING. 
Take a look at this chart I found on how much the usage of ‘failure’ has increased over the years.

… for though the righteous fall seven times, they rise again … (Proverbs 24:16 NIV)

Rise again! 

One Thing Keeping You Down

I’ve got LeCrae in my CD player. He is a rap artist. He knows who he is. Everyone wants to be like him. But he is an original—an original creation. He’s not tame. He’s got his name. He knows it from the beginning of time. His fingerprints are like a birthmark that no one can imitate. He’s the real thing.
It made me think about how fun it is to sit here and try to rap. I mean, I’m forty something years old and I’m sitting here trying to make up a rap song like LeCrae. I just had this thought pop in my head—maybe I was supposed to be a famous rap artist too. I’ve been rapping since the 80s – for fun. And…I’m really horrible at it—but horrible in comparison to whose standards?
Some of us have had such a lack of confidence for so many years that we never really reach our true potential; because the fear of man or the fear of failure. 

The one word that can hold you back from all that God has designed for you—fear. Fear of what? Fear of losing? It’s interesting. When you have nothing, you’re afraid of losing nothing, instead of willing to risk it all because you realize you have nothing.

I just wonder how has my lack of confidence over the years has held me down rather than catapulted me to where was originally designed to be. I wonder that—for you, is there something else you’re supposed to be doing but—maybe the fear of paying your bills or being able to provide for your family has kept you from moving forward. It’s got you on lock down. I just wonder.
I believe today, God wants to release us from that FEAR. He’s calling you and I to step out – Bigger than we ever have. How do you need to trust God and throw down every chain that’s been keeping you down?!
Father, I just ask you to release me from anything that is holding me back from fully engaging with the confidence that I can come before your throne with anything; that you’re for me—and when you’re for me, no one can be against me. Set us free, God. Set me free Lord. in Jesus name.


Parents Are Asking the Wrong Question

“Did you have fun today?”
“What did you do for fun?”
“Did you have fun with your friends?”
What is the one consistent word here? Its the three-letter word fun


F-U-N. 
Fun.

This type of question is ruining our children’s ability simply to BE. I hear parents, grandparents, and siblings asking young people, “Are you going to have a fun day? What did you do that was fun? Did you have fun with your friends?” 

I hear people asking this sort of question all of the time, even in my own house.
Is the focus of this question the right one parents should be asking? Should we gauge the quality of a young person’s day based on whether or not they had fun? 

We need to ask ourselves what we are teaching our children by asking this. 

We are giving them the impression that life is all about having fun.
I’m not trying to suggest children—or adults—should never have fun. We should love what we do. We should be engaged; we should have energy for life. We should enjoy our lives because Jesus came to bring us life “to the full” (John 10:10 NIV).
On the other hand, Jesus also said, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33 NIV). 

Hardships are part of life. We will experience struggles. We must often deal with troubling circumstances. In times of trial, however, we can have peace and find strength because we know Jesus loves us. He understands our pain and is both able and willing to help us in all things. We can find joy in the growth of our relationship with Him. It will not be fun, but there is good in it.

Recently, I took care of a child for a friend of mine. When my friend came to pick up her daughter, one of the first things she did was ask her child, “What did you do for fun today?” Her daughter replied, “Nothing. I haven’t done anything fun today.” The reaction to this statement bordered on shock, as if such a circumstance were unthinkable. Yet why is it unthinkable? What is horrible about a child not having fun all of the time? You shouldnt entertain your own children, and I shouldnt entertain yours, either.
If I gear my children’s lives toward fun, I am setting them up for future failure, depression, and battles when life isnt fun. I am setting them up for disappointment in marriage because they won’t be able to appreciate those low-key days of rest and recovery with their spouses after hectic times. Will they be able to treasure the quiet moments of simple companionship? 

When we emphasize the value of fun, we are sowing their the need to be entertained continuously. We are setting them up to view other people in terms of how they can make life more fun. We are encouraging our children to seek relationships based on fun. We are teaching them that it is okay to avoid or abandon tasks and relationships if they don’t seem fun.
Many children today are constantly asking, “What are we going to do now?” They are always seeking new ways to entertain themselves. Next time your kids are with a play date or hanging out with teenage friends, listen to them talk with each other. Take note of how often they ask each other what they will do next. Listen to them tell each other what they’ve been doing is getting old; they are bored and ready for the next source of entertainment. Girls who play indoors are always jumping to the next activity: “Hey, lets edit pictures. Lets do a photo shoot. Let’s play a game. Lets make a video. Lets make a song. Lets do all of these projects together. Lets go play this sport. Lets go play that. Im tired of this—lets move on.”
As a mother, I certainly appreciate when my children can entertain themselves and come up with activities on their own. The trouble is, kids don’t stay focused on a particular goal. They don’t stay engaged and committed. You don’t see kids building a fort all day long the way we did when we were young. These days its more of a frenzy: Kids dart from one activity to the next to the next to the next. Theres no break.
I don’t hear kids suggesting to each other to hang out and talk for a while or read a book or study the Bible. I know these suggestions sounds odd, but they shouldn’t. Life isnt about bouncing wildly from one fun activity to the next. I’m afraid children who live in restless pursuit of entertainment will grow into adults who are never satisfied with simply being. God created us as human beings, yet we allow our children to be only human doings. We are setting our children on a dangerous course because, let’s face it, most entertainment for kids and for adults is of this world and not of God. The desire for stimulation can distract us from the values and purposes of God. Will our children be too busy ping-ponging around to realize that?
I believe we need to stop asking children, “Did you have fun today?” We need to stop telling them when they leave the house, “Be sure to have fun!” Since it’s in our power to influence our children’s focus, let’s choose some different questions: Who did you encourage today? How were you encouraged today? Did you share your beautiful smile with someone? Did anyone surprise you with a beautiful smile and prompt you to smile back? Did you see someone do something kind today? Did you share with a friend today? Did you help your friends mommy when you were at their house all day? Did you leave their place better than you found it? When you spent time with your friends, did you ask how they were doing and actually listen to the answer? Did you ask them if they were hurting in any way?
We assume our children are too young and emotionally immature to have those kinds of conversations with us and with their friends. How can we believe this when we know children are not too young to be hurt? They could already, on any given day, be suffering rejection and deep wounds. They are already being challenged morally. They are already struggling with matters of the mind and spirit and body. Our children need adults who are willing to be transparent and dig deeply with them at the earliest ages.
We should never look down on people because they are young. We shouldnt assume children are incapable of deep conversation. It is up to us to teach them. If we raise our children to pursue fun, we can’t expect them suddenly to transform into insightful, compassionate human beings when they reach adulthood. We need to teach them while they are young: “Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it” (Prov. 22:6 NIV). We need to teach our children how to be introspective—how to search their own souls and seek the Lord. We need to teach them to pay attention to their thoughts, emotions, and experiences. We need to teach them to take a genuine, loving interest in other people’s thoughts, emotions, and experiences. People are never too young to learn the Lord’s ways and do the Lord’s work.
It is important for our children to learn how to connect with their friends on a deeper level. Otherwise the friendships they have when they are young won’t be sustainable beyond this particular season of their lives. We should teach kids from a young age the value of developing sound, lasting relationships.
Spending time with other people isn’t about cramming in as many fun activities as possible. Rather, it’s about companionship. It’s about relaxing your guard and getting to know each other. It’s about learning how to love each other. Close friends know how to rest together. They find refreshment in each other’s company. Kids need to understand that it’s okay to say, “You know what, Im tired. Lets chill and hang out. Maybe we can read together or talk for a while.”
What’s not okay is complaining about being bored. Maybe one person enjoys sharing some quiet time while another person doesn’t. The main objective isnt to have fun—to be entertained. When you are with the people you love, you can find enjoyment in the busy times as well as the quiet times.
I notice many children today who seemoverstimulated and utterly exhausted. Adults allow and expect kids to stay on the go all of the time, jumping from one activity to the next to the next to the next. No wonder kids are tired! No one has taught them how to be still. No one has taught them the value of being still.
Stillness calms people. It is enjoyable. It allows us to rest and reflect. Kids, too, can learn to be comfortable enough with themselves and the people around them simply to be. How else will they ever hear the still, quiet voice of God?



Holy Spirit

Maybe your parents always told you that you were the best and the brightest. You are the smartest and the sharpest. You’re the best looking and the kindest. Maybe they always told you great things. Maybe you made tenth place in your athletic event and your parents are like, “Good job for trying! We’re so proud of you. You’re so awesome.” Maybe they always spoke in positive and encouraging words even when you fail—if you got an F on your test, they were like, “It’s okay. It’s no big deal. You still are smart and sharp. You’re the sharpest and the brightest.” But the truth is that there’s a lack of understanding there.
The truth is that we’re made up of three parts: body, soul, and spirit. In your spirit, that is all true. In our spirit, we’re perfect. We couldn’t be more perfect. Our spirit is seated at the right hand of Jesus Christ and a finished work. Our spirit is perfect, a masterpiece, chosen, holy, blameless and so loved. So viewed from the eyes of God that our sins are so far removed from us. But while we are on this earth, our body and our soul—which is our mind and spirit—they are being renewed in the likeness of Jesus Christ every single day.
Our job on this earth is to tame and renew our mind so it comes in line with the Holy Spirit. Our job is to train up our body to come in line with the spirit. Our job is to command the body to stop craving the desires of this world like sexual immorality and quick fixes. Our job is to train up our emotions to not be emotion-led but to be spirit-led; to understand when our emotions flare that tells us that we have a trust issue with God. There’s an issue when our emotions flare up. We need to go seek God about and say, “God, why am I so angry about this? Father, why am I so sad? Help me align my emotions with you, God.”
They are a dashboard—like in a car. Your car has a dashboard. It will show up a yellow light and say “low fuel.” Everybody knows what to do. Go to the gas station. Well sometimes, a light comes on and it says, “check engine.” That might actually spark a panic attack in you or anxiety because you start thinking like, “I don’t have the time or the money to go have my engine replaced. Am I going to have to replace my car?” You automatically start thinking about the negative what ifs because it’s expensive and you think, “Oh my goodness!” But that’s not what the car manufacturer intended it for. They gave you the dashboard so they tell you there’s a problem. Don’t continue on this trip any longer until you have this problem checked out or you may have a bigger problem. It’s a warning system to give you a warning to tell you, “Hey you need to check the engine. There is a problem.” They didn’t do it to frustrate you or to cause you to have an anxiety or a panic attack. They did it to help you.
God did the same thing with our emotions. What he did with our emotions is he gave us a yellow light to tell us, “Oh my goodness, there might be a problem here. Don’t go any further. Stop blabbing your mouth. Don’t tell someone off. Just stop and pause and check in the engine,” which for us would be do a heart-check. “Heart-check me, God. Show me what I’m missing or why is this causing me to get so flared up?”
So our job on this earth is to continue to get our emotions and our will in line with the Holy Spirit. You know what, God has a work that he wants you to do. He’s called you, he’s chosen you, he’s pulled you out, plucked you before you were born to do work. And the truth is, you can say no or you can say yes. He’s got it for you and it’s your choice. So what is your decision? Well, every day we have to get constantly conform our will into God’s. Even like, Jonah. God told him to go to Nineveh, but you know what, he was like, “Whatever. I’m not gonna line my will with yours, God. I’m gonna align my will on my own. I’m gonna go to Tarshish and I’m gonna do what I wanna do.”
Our job on this earth is to stop and listen to God and say, “God, I wanna do what you want me to do. When you say go to Seven Eleven, I wanna go to Seven Eleven. When you say, turn left out of your neighborhood instead of right today, I wanna go that direction.” That’s maturity. Maturity is learning to obey at the very moment God speaks and to not delay.
Our job is to continue to reconcile our mind and our will into the Holy Spirit’s perfection; continue to say yes; continue to be refined by fire; continue to make the hard decisions even if you don’t want to just because God said so; and to get our body in line with the Holy Spirit. Like, “Body, you know what, you’re not gonna sit here and lie to me and tell me all these things are wrong. I’m going to command you to listen up and obey the Holy Spirit. I’m not gonna be sexually impure anymore. I refuse to use my eyes for purpose which they were not designed. I refuse to use my body for that which it was not designed by God and I refuse to allow pain to rule me so I can’t do the work of God. I refuse. Body, you listen up to the voice of the Holy Spirit.”

The truth is, sometimes our body and our soul, they fail. We make mistakes because we’re human and we’re being transformed. We’re in the process of being transformed. Because we’re being transformed and we’re in the process, we’re going to fail. So if you were raised by parents who never let you see your failures or they caught you every time before you failed—or you’re a parent raising kids, you catch your kids before they fail or you never let them see their failures, you’re doing them a disjustice, because they’re going to hurt so bad later when they fail. They’re gonna be so mad, they’re not gonna know how to respond or how to even handle any negative criticism from an employer or spouse or a child for that matter. You are doing them a complete disservice.

The truth is, your spirit is perfect but your body and your soul is not. You have to understand that it’s not so you know you need a savior to get through every day and you need to day yes. It gives you a dependency on God when you know that you fail without him. Failing doesn’t mean, “I am a failure.” Failing means, “I did something that wasn’t in the perfect mark of which God has asked me to. Failing means I did something without a hundred percent of my heart or I didn’t do it unto the Lord. I didn’t do it as if I was serving God. Failing is doing it on my own apart from God. Failing is leaning into my emotions and giving way to them and yelling at my children or my spouse or my friends and taking them out because I’m mad and I choose to fail. Failing is not recognizing that I’m still human and I need to make the decisions that God has asked me to make so I can be made into his likeness in every area and bring those other two parts into submission into the Holy Spirit.”
The truth is, everyone needs to understand you’re made up of body, soul and spirit and your spirit is perfect. Yes, you are a masterpiece. When you know who you are and you stand on it, it’s way easier to bring your body and your soul into submission and say, “Hey soul, stop trying to go your own way. Stop trying to be emotion-led because you know what, God is worthy and he’s made me a masterpiece already and I’m gonna stand up in the masterpiece, chosen, loved, holy, blameless person of God that I am and I am gonna stand fully on that. I refuse to go my own way, I refuse to live out of my emotions, I refuse to let the sun go down on my anger tonight because my Father who has named me and adopted me is worthy. I refuse to let my body command me and lust to rule me and selfish ambition and my selfishness to take me to places where God never intended me to go.”
I, Father, wanna stand in who you say who I am and bring my body and soul into submission, the end. In Jesus’ name, I bind all these. In the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. 

Milk Spill? – "No Problem"

When I was young, everything got negative attention. Every negative thing I did was highlighted with a flashlight. When I became a mother myself, I vowed never to treat my kids in that manner.

One day, Chandler spilled her third cup of milk all over my floor—the carpet, of course. I thought I was going to lose it.


The day that Chandler spilled her milk was later the same day that I had vowed that I would not lose it. So every time she spilled her milk, I responded with, “No problem.” But every time I said ‘no problem,’ I really said it behind gritted teeth—because I really didn’t like the spilled milk everywhere. But I refused to respond out of my emotions. So I would say, “No problem.”
God showed me, when she spilled her milk for the third time, that in this moment, the spill does not define who she is. It doesn’t define her. She’s not a klutz. She’s not a spiller. She’s not negligent. She’s not irresponsible. She spilled her milk, for goodness’ sakes.

So Chandler and I laughed and talked about the fact that God and I loved her so much and that would never change. No matter how bad the milk spill was, no matter how bad her mistakes were, he would always love her; and so would I.

Later, I read in Jeremiah 1 about who I am in Christ. In Jeremiah 1:5, that he chose me, he formed me in him before the creation of the world. I realized that in myself, I did not fully believe that I wasn’t defined by my actions. I actually believed that I was defined by the mistakes I had made.

So I was sitting here laughing and having a wonderful conversation with my child, telling her that she’s not defined by her mistakes, that inwardly feeling like that’s what I had based my whole identity on—was being defined by my mistakes. The constant criticism that I received as a child come back in my life as a broken record. Every single time I failed, “You’re a failure.” Insert Jeremiah 1.

So when it came time for me to try new things, I would say, “Oh, I’m not good at that. I don’t wanna try it. Because if I do, I might fail,” and I honestly wasn’t willing to do that.

Today, I take all those negative thoughts and those parental tapes captive and I replace them with the truth of God’s word in Jeremiah and in Ephesians.

And today, I believe by faith, even when I don’t feel like I am God who says I am, I know who I am. I’m not defined by my actions. My mistakes don’t make me a mistake. I take these thoughts captive in my own life and they make me a better mom every time the milk is spilled.

Today, I can tell my children without reservation, without gritting my teeth and there’s no frustration—I can tell them who they are in Christ and that the milk spill is no problem.