As a perfectionist, failure is not an option. I am afraid of failure. As a mom, a writer, a wife, a friend, a coach, a mentor. Even though I fail–continuously, I don’t acknowledge or admit it very often. But what I have come to learn is that failure is not optional … because it’s required.
To reach perfection, you must fail. To do anything otherwise is to come close maybe, but yet be so far. Because it’s just not possible to be perfect. At least not on my own.
If fear of God is the beginning of wisdom, failure is the beginning of perfection. Because failure is how we come to know and experience and rely on God. In the midst of failure, we see God because we are not distracted by our own “glorious” self. Failure, according to Webster’s, is “to fade or die away, to be inadequate, lack, to leave undone … a defect in character or ability.” Call it what it is: failure is the inability to accomplish on my own. If I can be perfect–or think that I can–I don’t need God. When I fail, I know I need Help (yes, that’s Help with a capital “H”).
When I recognize myself as the failure I am, only then can God accomplish perfection for me. Jesus was perfect so I don’t have to be. Free to fail.
“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”
2 Corinthians 12:9