Steve Mass – Staff Worship Leader
Do you remember the first time you tried to do something you’ve never done before? It could have been riding a bike, learning to speak another language, playing an instrument, or learning to cook your own food. Try and remember the emotions that were involved in that experience. If you’re like me, I would guess that frustration was probably one emotion you went through. Maybe a sense of defeat if you failed. Or maybe you were awesome at it, but if you were this post isn’t for you. Just kidding… kind of 🙂 I bet there was at least one experience you had a tough time doing at some point in your life.
For me it was playing guitar. I was first introduced to a guitar when I was about 10. My mom had an old nylon classical guitar from when she was young. If you know anything about classical guitars, they have really thick strings and wide necks that make it difficult for people with small hands to play. Not to mention the strings were so old, they had oxidized which made it even harder to play. I remember trying to make a chord and the pain my uncalloused fingers endured. After about an hour of trying to form chords and strum at the same time, I gave up. I hated it. I never wanted to play guitar again.
I’m willing to bet your experiences were similar to mine. Being discouraged can be a dream killer. It will stop you dead in your tracks if you let it.
I want to speak some encouragement to those who are reading this post, and just so you know this is encouragement to myself as well. Becoming good at something doesn’t happen in your first time doing it. Even if you’re naturally talented at it, I can guarantee that you haven’t reached your full potential at that activity. In a culture where timelines are fast tracked and expectations are at an all time high for excellence, there isn’t a whole lot of room for failure.
“Oh you got a college degree? You better nail it your first week at your new job, or this isn’t going to work out.”
“Hey there Johnny. I know you’re only 5, but I need you to ace this geometry test. Also, your thesis on “The Meaning of Life” is due at the end of class.”
These may be a little exaggerated, but I’ve seen a 5th grader’s homework nowadays. I definitely had to Google how to do some of their math homework!
The problem with all of these high expectations is that it creates a high rate of failure.
This is exactly like what Jesus was talking to the Pharisees about with following all the religious laws they had. The laws made it IMPOSSIBLE to win at life. Their expectations didn’t allow for failure. Where is the logic in that? Even the most righteous religious leaders had flaws. But no one showed them because it made them seem weak to the other “righteous” leaders.
I’m here to tell you today, IT’S OK TO FAIL!!!!
Our walk with Christ will never be perfect. That’s why Jesus came in the first place. Not for us to live in failure, but to have victory!
Even in the trials that will inevitably come in life, we can dust ourselves off and try again because we already have victory in what Jesus did on the cross for us. Self improvement and skill development comes in baby steps. Learning to play the guitar well came over 14 years of practice, and I still haven’t reached my full potential. Jesus has given you the gift of reaching your full potential in the eyes of God. It can be a long journey, but press on because in Jesus, you are VICTORIOUS!
Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. James 1:2-4