rebelling against low expectations

Don’t Be Afraid to Fail


No one likes to fail.

I certainly don’t.

It doesn’t matter if it’s losing a soccer match, failing to raise enough money for a mission trip, or an F (or a C, if you’re that sort of student) on a test: failure is embarrassing and can make you feel like you wasted your time.

But are these responses biblical?

In the dictionary, failure is described as “being unsuccessful in achieving one’s goal.” If your goal is to get an A on that math test and you get a C, then yes, you failed.

However, according to 1 Corinthians 10:31 a Christian’s ultimate goal should be to glorify God.

“Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do everything for God’s glory.”

Isn’t that such a relief?

Basically, if our ultimate goal is to glorify God and God’s ultimate goal is to glorify Himself (Isaiah 48:9-11) and God can do anything, then how can we fail?

That’s not to say things will always turn out the way you expect. You may never hear about that volunteer position you applied for, but that doesn’t mean you filled out that application for no reason.

That’s the wonderful thing about being a Christian. If we prayerfully consider each step before we take it, then He won’t let anything we do be in vain.

Even if God seems to be silent about, say, what college you should go to, if you honestly wish to glorify Him with whatever you choose, He will respect that.

Fear of messing up shouldn’t keep us from taking a step.

We can never mess up God’s plan.

My dad has this saying he picked up while in the army: it’s easy to be perfect – just do nothing. If God wanted us to do nothing, He wouldn’t have given us two arms and two legs.

At the same time, it’s important to remember that we’re all sinners. There will be times when we fail to seek God’s glory and instead seek our own. Thankfully, He always forgives us.

It’s hard to accept failure. It hurts. But, unlike the rest of the world, we have the hope that God will use it for His glory. That our “failure” is not actually a failure but a piece in God’s wonderful plan.

One of my favorite Bible verses is Romans 8:28: “We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God and who are called according to His purpose.”

We are Christians. We are called according to His purpose. Let us not allow the world to intimidate us in order to keep us from that purpose.

Let us not be afraid to fail.

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About the author

Cricket Hoppmann

is a nineteen-year-old, southern, homeschooled chicken-lover—the kind that still has feathers and clucks (not her, the chickens). She also loves Jesus, her family, martial arts, and climbing trees. Although she has no idea what she wants to do with her life, she’s trusting God and looking forward to seeing what doors He will open.


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  • I just broke my elbow because I missed a really easy gymnastics move, so I needed this. Thanks for writing such an encouraging reminder!

  • Great insight! Sometimes as Christians we fall into the trap of inaction — there’s a time to wait, but also a time to move forward with confidence that God will guide the way as we genuinely petition Him in prayer. By reading scripture, we can get a good feeling of what God wants us to do — and it’s often through scripture that God speaks to us.

  • And even beyond that, one of my favorite quotes by Teddy Roosevelt from his Citizenship in a Republic speech,

    “It is not the critic who counts. Not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or were the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who tries valiantly- who errs, who comes short again and a gain, because there is no effort without failure and shortcoming, but who actually strives to do the deed. Who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause, who at the best knows the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place will never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.”

    If that’s not a call to do hard things, I don’t know what is. We do hard things because we know it will glorify God and help our fellow man if we succeed, and because we know if we fail we still meet that end goal. I memorized a portion of this speech last year for declamation at MAACS- a Christian private school/homeschool liberal arts competition- and that is still one of my favorite quotes. I hope it inspires you and reminds me not to be afraid of the failure of doing hard things.

By Cricket Hoppmann
rebelling against low expectations

The Rebelution is a teenage rebellion against low expectations—a worldwide campaign to reject apathy, embrace responsibility, and do hard things. Learn More →