A great defense against long-term failure

2 Timothy 1:7
“For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” (ESV)

Today’s Thought
Fear is the thousand-pound invisible monster that is always waiting in the wings to take up residence in your heart.

Once he gets in he mauls your confidence and dreams with his stinky green claws.

When I was young, fear seemed to be more predictable than it is now. It had to do with things like goblins under the bed.

But as life changes—and as you and I change—so does fear. Maybe we fear for our health, our reputation, our relationships. Maybe we fear rejection. Or maybe you fear…

Failure.

I’m pretty sure none of us dream of a day when people stand around our grave saying things like, “Wow, they sure messed things up, didn’t they!”

So how do you combat a fear of failure?

Well, I think you need to continually remind yourself that God is bigger than your fears–including your fear of failure. When you have your eyes continually fixed on a great big God, the idea of failure seems to worry you less and less.

I also think we need to continually remind ourselves that a great defense against long-term failure is short-term character.

Working on your character—your personal integrity—day in and day out is one very practical thing you can do to ensure the thousand-pound invisible monster keeps his stinky claws off of your confidence and dreams.

I don’t meant to suggest that you can perfectly ward off failure by being a virtuous person. But I do think that you’re doing your future a favour when you integrate forever priorities into your today routine. It has to do with making good decisions, saying daily prayers, and making fewer excuses and more out of the opportunities that fall into your lap.

As it says in 2 Timothy 1:7, “God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.”

I like that. A spirit “of power and love and self-control.” It just strikes me that if those are going to be someday things they need to be today things too.

Who you are tomorrow is often tied to who you are today. A great defense against long-term failure is short-term character.

By Matthew Ruttan

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