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Friday, 8 June 2012

Permission to Fail

Faith is spelled R-I-S-K.

Someone said that to me recently, and I’ve been reading similar things in a few places. If we don’t take risks, the Kingdom of God will never come on earth as it is in heaven.

I also read recently the statement that children are professional mistake-makers. That is great, because that is how they learn. 

Jesus called us to be like little children. Usually we cite attributes of children such as trust and enthusiasm as the characteristics Jesus was calling forth in adults, but perhaps he is also calling us to become professional mistake-makers. 

As we grow into adult hood, we build nests and feather them with those things we are comfortable with. We then pretty much retreat into those comfort zones, where we feel in control.

In control. That’s just it, isn’t it? We are called to cede control to God, and in a funny way that is the road to true freedom.

Of course dependence is another characteristic of children, but in our society we train our children to be independent. Independence isn’t a bad thing, but being fiercely independent reveals a deep-seated pride, a reluctance to admit that we are not, after all, in control of our lives. 

It’s scary to take risks, because it carries the inherent possibility that we may fail. We all want to be seen to be successful, not failures. 

That’s where the loving community of believers comes in, though, where we are allowed to fail, even perhaps encouraged to fail. Because if we never fail, it shows we have never really followed Jesus outside of our comfort zones and into uncharted territory.

And he calls us to go to the whole world with the great news that he loves the world so much he died for it.

Not a message our jaded society is gagging to hear.

Or is it?

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