Failure’s such an ugly word. Which is, as I talked about here, why we all gravitate toward success.
Who doesn’t want to be successful?
But here’s the truth. Most of us are not as successful as we hoped to be.
We dream of more
We dream of bigger
We dream of better
Which is good.
But what happens if it just doesn’t work out the way we’d hoped? What happens if, despite our very best efforts
The ministry never realizes the potential we see?
Our family never becomes quite what we imagined it would?
It just never goes where we hoped it would go?
Is success an indicator of God’s favour? (Which would mean those of us who are less successful are not, by implication, as faithful as those who are.)
Can you be faithful to God and still not ‘succeed’?
Well, sometimes, yes. (How’s that for clarity? Hang in there…)
Ten years ago I might not have even written this post.
Here’s why. Too often seen leaders who use faithfulness to justify their
lack of strategy
indifference toward people or the mission
If that’s you, this post isn’t about you. Get on your knees, go get help, grow up, and then get to work.
Faithful does not equal lazy. It doesn’t equal stupid. And it doesn’t equal unstrategic.
But it just doesn’t always work out the way you hoped.
Paul wanted a mission to the Jews. They resisted. He finally gave up and turned to the Gentiles.
Jonah was a failure on many levels. (He fled, he resisted and yes, he submitted. But the story ends leaving him angry and leaving the tension unresolved)
Sosthenes actually wrote the very famous New Testament book of 1 Corinthians, but you don’t even know his name, do you? (check it out)
Faithfulness does not always equal fame.
Excellence does not always yield “results.”
And doing your best doesn’t necessarily mean you will always be successful.
There are subway musicians who are more gifted than the guys burning up the iTunes charts.
There are faithful, excellent preachers who have 12 people signed up for their podcast.
There are leaders who sincerely pray every day but wonder if they will ever see their prayers answered.
So here’s are a few character questions:
Would you be content to work in obscurity?
Would you be content to serve in a context where someone else got the credit?
Would you be content to know you were 100% faithful with the gifts you had been given regardless of the outcome?
I’m not talking about being lazy.
I’m not talking about being ineffective or unstrategic.
I am talking about you doing everything you can within your power to work toward a better tomorrow.
But you need to know, it doesn’t always work out the way you hoped.
Just don’t get discouraged.
How should you (and I) live?
Do everything you possibly can to be faithful, strategic, diligent and innovative.
Get all the help and counsel you need to improve yourself, others and the situation around you.
And leave the outcome to God.
That’s where trust comes in.
That’s why you need faith.
And that’s why success is sometimes measured by God differently than it is by us.
God is writing a bigger story. You get to play a part.
And leave the outcome to God.