Instant communication comes with a price. Imagine if a leader made a mistake before 1845. People living hundreds of miles away might never hear of the gaffe. With the invention of the telegraph by Samuel Morse on May 24, 1844 and the implementation of thousands of miles of wires, people could more quickly hear news. But it cost money to send telegraphs and it took time for mailed letters to reach their destination. Now, anyone in the world with access to the internet can watch video footage of another human’s accident or meltdown.
Yesterday, I watched footage on Yahoo of a young girl who purposely kneed an opposing player in the face on the soccer field. Despite the meanness of the act, imagine how the perpetrator must feel to have virtually the whole world capable of seeing her bad sportsmanship. The second order effect of tweets and posts and texting is complete embarrassment for the person who fails and knows that everyoneelse knows.
Terry Bragg, who leads a company called Peacemakers Training, wrote, “Fear of failureis one of the greatest fears people have.” Leaders in the military are discovering that among young adults this seems to be an ever-increasing problem. Soldiers are not coping well when they make mistakes. They are much too devastated by errors and lack confidence that they can overcome mistakes. Therefore they are increasingly risk-aversive.
2 Timothy 1:7—For God has not given us a spirit of fearfulness, but one of power, love, and sound judgment.
Winston Churchill said, “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” We often learn far more from our mistakes than we do from our victories. It is important that we who are older and understand that defeats are a means to growth communicate this to our children and to those whom we have opportunity to mentor. The fact that morepeople may know of our shortcomings does not negate our ability to learn and overcome!
Jesus-followers ought to know that man’s technological advances do not limit God’s attributes. Nor does the increased magnitude of what people may know about us, restrict the measure of what God can do in us. He does not want us to be afraid of failure He wants us to apply the power, love and ability to reason wisely that come from His indwelling Holy Spirit! If more people know we have failed, then by God’s grace may even more know that we persevere to succeed.
Paul wanted Timothy to be encouragedthat he was a prisoner for Christ. What looked like punishment, a losing environment, and a loss of freedom was really the opportunity to suffer for the gospel. Paul knew what it meant to rely on the power of God (1:8). If we let losses define us and embarrassment prevent us from thinking we can succeed, then we are not following our Savior, we are following our fears. We cannot rely on a need to be perfect, we can rely on our perfect Lord—something to think about . . . in reveration!
©2012 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)