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Fear Five: Failure


Issue 082

“I can tell you now, it won’t work.” “Trust me,  that’s not
the way to go.”

Behind these words can be the fear of failure. But what
lies behind the fear of failure, and what does it do to

There’s an ancient proverb which goes, ‘The sluggard
says, “there is a lion outside”,  or “I will be murdered in
the streets” ‘(Proverbs 22:13). For this person the
world outside is so scary, so full of potential dangers
that his fear has kept him indoors. His fear of failure has
made him lazy and unadventurous. Not that people like
this always appear lazy – they may be experts at coming
up with a thousand and twenty-one reasons why a
project at work can’t succeed; in the end they are
terrified of the work and risk involved in success.
There’s another kind of person whose fear of failure
drives them on to ever greater achievement. Usually
highly successful,  it’s the next achievement that means
the most and the reputation that must be protected.
For them the ultimate failure is to fail in the eyes of
others. Here the fear is a result  of pride rather than

So pride and laziness both seem to have their roots in a
fear of failure. The lazy man is too afraid to encounter
the lion. The proud man is too afraid to stop killing
lions. Maybe the lazy man is too proud to work, and the
proud man too lazy to rest.

Or…. maybe both need to discover that love is the best
driving force. For the love of God drives out fear, and
with it laziness and pride, setting us free to work and to
rest for the Glory of God


1 John 4:16-18

God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him.
17In this way, love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment, because in this world we are like him. 18There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love

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Series: Fear
Module: 7
Season: -
Daily Guide: No

Tags: failure, fear, laziness, love, motivation, pride, reputation, risk, success

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Geoff Shattock

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