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What’s the Big Deal About Failure?
By Rick Warren

“No matter how often honest people fall, they always get up again.” Proverbs 24:16 (GNT)

Never forget this truth: Failure probably won’t kill you. 

We vastly exaggerate the effects of failure. We blow the prospects of failing all out of proportion. Failing is not the end of the world. The fear of failure is far more damaging than failure itself. 

Proverbs 24:16 says, “No matter how often honest people fall, they always get up again” (GNT). Even “good” people stumble. They make mistakes, mess up, and fail.

Successful people are not people who never fail. They’re people who get up and keep going. Successful people just don’t know how to quit!

Have you ever heard of these famous failures?

  • George Washington lost two-thirds of all the battles he fought. But he won the Revolutionary War and later became the first U.S. president. 
  • Napoleon graduated 42nd in a class of 43. Then he went out and conquered Europe.
  • In 21 years, Babe Ruth hit 714 home runs, but he struck out 1,330 times. He struck out nearly twice as often as he hit a home run. 
  • The famous novelist John Creasey received 753 rejection letters before he published 564 books.
  • Rowland Hussey Macy failed seven times at retailing before starting Macy’s department store. 

Great people are simply ordinary people who have an extraordinary amount of determination. They just keep on going. They realize they’re never a failure until they quit.

That’s how you reduce your fear of failure. You redefine it.

You don’t fail by not reaching a specific goal. Instead, failure is not having a goal. Failure is refusing to get back up again once you fall. It’s refusing to try.

On the first day of kindergarten, I got in the wrong line and then into the wrong classroom. Can you imagine me going home to my mom and dad and saying, “I’m a failure at education! This school thing just doesn’t work”? Of course not. Even as a young child, I learned from my mistake and did better the next day.

When you fail, keep going. If at first you don’t succeed, it’s no big deal. You’re never a failure when you don’t give up. 

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This devotional © 2018 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

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