Summary: This is a sermon dealing with people’s fear of failing and how Moses overcame this common phobia.
Fear Factor: “Moses—The Fear of Failure” (Exodus 3-4)
M. Cameron McDonald
February 22, 2004
ILL: I STAND BEFORE YOU THIS MORNING AN ABSOLUTE FAILURE. FOR THE PAST SEVERAL WEEKS I HAVE BEEN MENTALLY COMPILING A LIST OF THINGS THAT I FAIL AT REGULARLY. ALLOW ME TO OPEN UP WITH YOU AND SHARE A FEW THIS MORNING:
• Experts say you should drink 8 glasses of water a day—I don’t always do that.
• Dentists say you should brush your teeth after every meal and floss everyday—I don’t do that.
• I have been told numerous times that I should never allow my gas tank to get below half full—I am always reminded of this fact when I am walking down the side of the freeway to the nearest exit with a gas station.
• Nutritionists say that you are supposed to eat your weight in terms of grams in protein every day, you are supposed to stay as far away from Carbohydrates as possible, and you are supposed to eat at least 3 square meals per day, if you get in the habit of skipping breakfast, and then have a big lunch and a light dinner, that is a known cause for adult onset diabetes—if that is the case than most days I am on the fast track to this disease.
• As a good rule of thumb one should never allow their checking account to get below a $100 balance—fail at that.
• You are supposed to make your bed up every morning, dust once a week and vacuum couple of times a week—I fail at that as well.
• If you are a man you are not supposed to allow your body fat percentage to rise above 17%--I stand before you today with a 24% body fat percentage and a tendency to low ball that when I tell people in public, or at church on Sunday mornings.
• You should as a Christian read your Bible every day—there are days and even weeks that go by when I never crack my Bible except to study for sermons.
• I am supposed to be on the job by 8:30 every morning—there are times when I show up around 8:45, truth were known sometimes closer to 9.
• Doctor’s say that the average adult should get no less than 8 hours sleep per night—right now I am operating on ___
• You are supposed to always do the speed limit and not get road rage—I don’t even think I will go there.
• You are supposed to have at least 3 months salary set aside at any time for an emergency fund—If truth were known I probably owe 3 months salary at any given time.
A. This morning we are talking about overcoming the fear factor of Failure
a. And I am making this point not to show you what a detestable human being I am but to simply show you that we as human beings fail on a regular basis, or at least I do.
b. And a fear of failure can be a good thing, if it motivates you to do something about it and make some positive changes.
c. Since compiling this list I have decided to try and do every thing on this list correctly for one week, to see how well I can do—So I tried it but I stopped mid-week because I was afraid I would fail.
d. But fear causes many to be overly protective, refusing to dream, to stretch, to try something new and exciting. They’re always asking what if I bomb out, what if the project doesn’t go well, what if we fall flat on our faces.
e. Fear inhibits people and restricts their giftedness. They have trouble being themselves because they are terrified of failure.
ILL: WHEN I WAS A SENIOR IN HIGH SCHOOL I HAD AN AFTER SCHOOL JOB OF KEEPING SCORE FOR THE FRESHMEN AND J.V. GIRLS’ BASKETBALL GAMES. ONE DAY THE PERSON WHO WAS TO SING THE NATIONAL ANTHEM FAILED TO SHOW UP, SO IN THE HEAT OF THE PRESSURE, I RELUCTANTLY AGREED TO DO IT, ACOPELLO. HALFWAY THROUGH THE SONG MY VOICE POPPED AND I WAS SO DISTRACTED BY THE SNICKERING I HEARD IN THE STANDS THAT I COMPLETELY FORGOT THE WORDS TO THE SONG, SO I SANG THE FIRST VERSE TWICE. THAT FAILURE WAS A GOOD THING BECAUSE IT LIMITED THE PLACES I SING TO THE SHOWER, THE CAR, AND TIMIDLY IN CHURCH.
f. But fear makes your hands tremble when you have that 12 point buck in your sights on that cold morning in the dear blind, or their voices tremble when they speak to people, or their voices crack while singing the national anthem.
g. And fear can ruin people’s personalities. It makes some people irritable, critical, joyless and so uptight they’re hard to live with.