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Topic: Failure (03/01/04)
By Phyllis Inniss
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Failure is a lack of success or a deficiency or falling short (Longman Family Dictionary). We usually measure success or failure by the standards set by the achievers:- gold medal winners in sports, those who have reached the top of the career ladder, business executives and so on. However, true success is based on our relationship with Christ. Without Him we can do nothing. As the apostle Paul said in Phil.4:13 “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” It is always heart-warming to hear Grammy Award winners and athletes thank God for their achievement . They know they owe their success to the Lord
Why do people fail? Dr. Myles Munroe in his book “Maximizing Your Potential” says “Dreams without work accomplish nothing” . If you don’t work you can accomplish nothing; your self-esteem will be low; you will have no resources to live by (unless you are one of the lucky few to have earned a large inheritance); there will be no chance for you to develop your skills and talents; there will be no achievement for you to feel good about or to look back on; there will be no opportunity for success or achievements to share with others. Others will look at you as a failure, and you will also see yourself as a failure.
There are many examples from the Bible to show how hard Paul worked to bring salvation to unbelievers. He knew God had given him a purpose by blinding him on the road to Damascus and he put up with all sorts of privations and tribulations to make sure he achieved that goal. God has put us here to fulfill a purpose. With His help we can achieve that purpose. Our failure would depend on our letting Satan get between our desires and what God wills for us
Dr. Munroe shows us in his book how Satan interferes with our dreams so that we become failures. He cites such things as disobedience, sin, fear, discouragement, procrastination, past failures, the opinions of others, success, tradition, a wrong environment, comparison, opposition and society’s pressure. Disobedience and sin are similar in their effects. They destroy your relationship with God . He says “You cannot become who God created you to be if you persist in rebelling against Him. Success, he thinks, makes us feel we have arrived and so we do not bother to move on to greater successes. Tradition, on the other hand, makes us feel secure. We do not “ receive the incentive to grow and be creative because our new ideas may interfere with the conventional way of doing things.”
Some parents doom their children to failure. They put so much pressure on them to achieve that if the children fall short, they feel that somehow they have failed their parents or they are not good anyway. Sometimes the parents make comparisons between their children and other people’s children or even amongst the other siblings . If parents were to teach children from early about the principles Jesus laid down for us to live by and they were to show by example that they were also living by them, the chances are that they will have better results from their children. Some of the principles like love, faith, even faith in one’s self , hope – hope that things will turn out better the next time around and charity – charity to others less fortunate or successful than oneself.
The failure of the Church to keep its congregation is a sore point with ministers. Young people migrate for different reasons and those who remain do not seem to have the same commitment as their elders. Some of the churches have been criticized for not keeping up with the times. The young people whose parents do not attend church soon fall back in their attendance, as they find distractions outside to keep them away. The ministers too come in for some blame; their sermons are less than exciting and too often you can see the elderly and not so elderly dropping off to sleep.