How to avoid failure and how to deal with it are the determining factors between sorrow and success. I’ve encountered all kinds and levels of failure—some embarrassing, others painful, and even some that turned to lifetime lessons.
A friend emailed me last Wednesday, April 1 and said, “Don’t let anyone make you a fool. Remember, it’s April Fool’s Day.”
No way, I thought. I’m too cautious to fall for that silly stuff.
Later that day, I opened an email from a trusted friend. It read: “Please call this number and ask for Dr. Jim Panzee.”
The moment I was free, I dialed. But I had trouble choosing from the menu items as the recording identified the number was to the San Diego Zoo. Finally, I pressed 0 and got the operator. “Could I speak to Mr. Jim Panzee?”
“Hmmm…” she said, ‘do you know it’s April Fool’s Day…you’re pronouncing “Dr. Chimpanzee.”
And what made me think I couldn’t be fooled? Pride. That arrogance that makes us think we have enough wisdom. When we do, failure comes. When we think we can achieve on our own, we fall. And when we try to boast, eventually we’ll grow faint
The greatest achievers are ones who seek God’s wisdom. But the greatest fool is one who fails because of disobedience.
Here are three steps to avoid it:
- Before taking the first step, turning the next corner or making the next decision, we first seek wisdom, Gods wisdom. And “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.” (James 1:5)
- When we ask, we must be sure we believe. Because “…when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.” (James 1:6)
- Resist the devil’s lies that exalt pride and self-reliance—a sure path to failure. They come from the father of lies: “When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” (John 8:39-40)
Father, the temptation to believe lies is frequent. The fear of failure is constant, the worry of missing goals nags. Thank you for setting us free from all that. Thank you for reminding us of the danger of pride which you detest. Grant us the spirit of obedience to receive your wisdom and avoid being a fool encountering painful failures. In Jesus’s name, amen.
- What failure have you experienced lately?
- What happens when you ask for God’s wisdom?
- How do you conquer the fear of failure?
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