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I have been reading a few things from various leaders lately and one thing they all seem to have in common is that they have failed at something they’ve tried to do.

I am seeing that it is only when we have conquered the fear of failure that we can truly be courageous and do something significant for God.

Erwin Lutzer in his book, “Failure: The Backdoor to Success” points out how a detour can lead to the main road.

John Maxwell writes in his book “Fail Forward”,

“The difference between average and achieving people is their perception of and response to failure.”

Author Napoleon Hill says

“Every adversity, every failure and every heartache carries with it the seed of an equivalent or a greater benefit.”

As missionaries and future missionaries who want to do something great for God, we will have to look the fear of failure square in the face and move right past it if we are ever going to make an impact in the nations.

Those who send us will also have to be willing to manage the potential of our failure and see that God can even use our detours as a way of getting us to the place he wants us to be.

The more and more I read the biographies of missionaries, I see the hand of God leading taking them to one country or town initially, only to show them the real place or ministry he had in mind for them. But they would have never known it or seen it unless they had gone to the first place and “failed.”

One example that comes to mind is that of Amy Carmichael who started her missions career in Japan and due to various disappointments, ended up in Ceylon, India where she made a huge impact.

There is no doubt that failure costs something.

But I have come to understand that playing it safe and not trying, because of fear of failure, costs even more.

JL

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