You Are Free to Fail
Hi! I'm reposting this from a piece I wrote for the Revelation Wellness blog. I hope it frees you to rest in the freedom of the Lord and rise with an unfettered, undeterred purpose no matter where you feel like you have failed.
An empty room can be more crushing than a crowded one.
I’ve been to packed workout classes where you can hardly move freely, let alone breathe in fresh air.
I’ve also been to workout classes that had no-one at all, except for me, the instructor.
And in the silence of the room, the voices screamed accusations in my head, “See, you did all that preparation for nothing, for no one. All your time and excitement was just a waste. You’re pretty much a waste.” I felt like the walls were pushing in on me.
I’m often plagued with discouragement and think: "Oh, those people didn’t come? I must be a failure." The Lord is teaching me that Iam not a failure (or a mistake, or useless... whichever word fits for that day).
Sin is the failure. I am a disciple.
A disciple is a student. The Greek word for “disciple” in the Bible is mathētḗs, which translates as a follower of Christ who learns who God is and how walk with Him. A child learns how to walk by falling forward: her eyes are fixed ahead as she stumbles onward.
A disciple of Jesus is one who looks to the all-loving, Living God and falls forward into His arms.
She is is free to flunk the same tests over because He gives her a million chances to try again.
She is free to climb the narrow, rocky road and stumble because Her Savior is there to pick her right back up again.
She is free to fail.
Along with “failing forward,” “failing fast” is a popular concept with entrepreneurs. It’s based on the framework of trying something, seeing if it works, and then pivoting if it doesn’t.
As quoted in the Startup Institute blog: "Failure informs us, giving us the intel to optimize—to reenter the game with a better product, a stronger strategy, and a clearer sense of where we need to go and what we need to get there. Failure cultivates humility, builds resiliency, and breeds fearlessness.”
I am happy to take a lesson from the business world and fail fast so I can serve others better.
I am confident that when I let Christ be my victory, I can allow failure to be a teacher.
The work I do becomes less about me, and more about Jesus.
"And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” Philippians 1:6
Our great God counts no record of wrongs. No matter how many times you may have messed up, no matter how many times you have tried to start a new idea or lose the weight or be patient with your kids—there is freedom in Christ, freedom in forgiveness, freedom to try hard and fail big.
I pitched a gospel-preaching fitness class to my local YMCA a few months ago, and they are letting me do a summer trial for the class. I was bold in asking, and they were audacious in taking a risk on me. It has been going really well--the class typically full of beautiful, grateful people--until the other day when nobody showed.
But this time, I was not afraid of losing the class or ashamed that no one came. The Lord always comes. And He was enough for me. I stayed and did the workout.
The work He has called you to do is never a failure when you are faithful.
His Word never returns void. Let His fierce love break the chains of fear, doubt, and shame. Those are the enemy’s tools to keep us from Kingdom work. You are no longer bound to comparison of another’s calling or success. Focus on Jesus, learn from failure, and be free in His steadfast love for you.