Stipulating Failure

If you’re alive, chances are someone has told you that you’ll fail before.  If you haven’t experienced that, then someone has probably at least put limits on what you can do.  This frustrates me!

To be quite honest, I haven’t been told I’ll fail many times.  In fact, the only one I can think of right now is when I didn’t make the soccer team in middle school because I “didn’t run fast enough”.  Which, if you knew me, is quite a difficult task for someone with such short legs and who needs a purpose to run hard.  Maybe people in your life haven’t outright told you you’d fail, but they gave you stipulations.  You can only take this job if (fill in the blank).  You can only move away if it’s within this distance.  You can only start that business if x, y, and z happen first.

Since when is putting such limits on people ok?  I’m sure I’ve done it to others as well, though I cannot think of a specific example.  And to those of you I have said or thought something along those lines, I am sorry.  If you put limits and stipulations on what people can or cannot do, you might as well be telling God what He can or cannot do.  And trust me, there are no limits to what God can do!

Maybe nobody has expressed such boundaries on your dreams.  Maybe the people in your life either don’t care or care enough to let God do His thing.  But what about you?  Have you told yourself that you’re going to fail?  Have you given yourself stipulations in your life and on your dreams?

Talking with our middle and high school girls this past weekend, I came to a cold, hard realization.  I first asked if anybody had told them they’d fail or put limits on what they could do.  They all admitted they had experienced this.  I have too.  But as I asked, the Holy Spirit reminded me that I do this to myself more than anything else.  My parents aren’t limiting me.  My husband is not limiting me.  My friends are either.  I am the one limiting me and my dreams, and thus putting limits on God.  I tell myself I will fail, or that what I do isn’t good enough, all the time!

Maybe it’s something small, like playing a new sport.  Jason suggested that we go play tennis sometime, and I was adamant that I would not because “I can’t play tennis to save my life”.  Whether that’s true or not, I had bought into a lie that I was doomed to fail.  My life won’t be too different whether or not I play tennis once or twice.  But what if it’s something big that could change the world?!

For instance, what if Dr. Jerry Falwell decided that there was no way he could start a church that would change the lives of thousands, much less a school or university?  I don’t claim to know specifics, but Thomas Road Baptist Church has probably affected hundreds of thousands locally and globally.  Liberty University is the largest Christian university in the world – even above Notre Dame and the like (and 7th overall in the nation).  At any given time there are over 77,000 students on campus and online getting a Christian education and learning more about what God has for them.  And that’s after only 41 years!  I am extremely affected by the impact Dr. Falwell’s life decisions had!  My family moved to Virginia for my dad to go to Liberty University in the 70s, and I grew up heavily involved in the church, grade school and high school, and Liberty University.  There are countless examples of people similar to this who stepped out on a limb and God used in unmistakable ways (feel free to share more examples below)!

Maybe God has a dream like that for you, but you haven’t even given it a second thought because “there is no way you’d be able to accomplish it”.  Wake up!  And I’m talking to myself too.  Stop putting a cap on what you can do, and stop dooming yourself to failure.  You are capable of far much more than you could ever imagine though God!  As my father-in-law says, “Place no limits on God (or yourself), and He’ll place no limits on you.” (Parentheses added)

-Alicia

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About onebeatblog

Our purpose is to equip, empower, and encourage those involved in student ministry!

Posted on July 11, 2012, in Christian Living, Leadership and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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