Summary: Purpose: to share how we can overcome the fear of failure in our lives.

The Fear of Failure

Scripture: Matthew 25:25-27

Purpose: to share how we can overcome the fear of failure in our lives.

INTRODUCTION: Have you ever felt like Charlie Brown? I sure have. In fact, I’m standing here today as an absolute failure. I came across a list of things this week that I’m supposed to do where I fail regularly. Could I share just a few of those with you?

- Experts say you should drink eight glasses of water a day – I don’t always do that.

- Dentists say you should brush your teeth after every meal and floss every day. Don’t always do that.

- I’ve been told I should never allow the gas tank in my car to get below half full. You don’t want to know about the times I’ve had to walk down a road to find the nearest gas station.

- You should make your bed every morning, dust once a week, and vacuum a couple times a week. I’ve struck out on that.

- Doctors say the average adult should get no less than 8 hours of sleep per night – I think I’ve averaged about 4-6 ½.

- You’re always supposed to do the speed limit and not get road rage – I’m not even going to go there!

All of us fail occasionally – don’t we? It is not out desire or intent but, “hey it happens.” Nobody wants to be known as a failure in life, but the truth is: failure is universal! Everybody experiences failure, and everybody experiences the fear of failure. In fact, just the fear of failure paralyzes millions of people.

Thomas Edison said it like this,

“Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize

how close they were to success when they gave up.”


The fear of failure is not really new. It’s been around for ages. In fact, Jesus told a story about it in Matthew 25 about a master who has three servants. He divided his income among them and said, “I’m going on a trip. I want you to take my money and invest it.”

The first guy took the money and doubled it. The master was satisfied. The second guy took the money and doubled it. Again, the master was satisfied. But then we come to the third guy. We pick up his story in verse 25,

(Matthew 25 25-27) “’So I was afraid and went out and hid your talent

in the ground. See here is what belongs to you.’ His master replied, you wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed? Well, then, you should

have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest.’”

Jesus wants us to learn from this story that when we refuse to take risks, we’re refusing to live by faith. How do we conquer the fear of failure anyway? With drugs? With hypnosis?

Today, we close the sermon series of “Things We Don’t Like to Talk About” And no one likes to talk about his or her Failures. So how then can we overcome the fear of failure so that it does not paralyze us to move forward? There are four things we need to understand if we are going to take risks that will honor God.

The first way to conquer the fear of failure is...


A. The starting point to overcoming the fear of failure is to realize, that it is a universal experience. Everybody fails. James is very specific about this. He says,

“We all stumble in many ways.” (James 3:2)

1. A study has been done and they’ve discovered that the failure rate of human beings is 100%.

2. Nobody is perfect. We all blow it. You can’t get away from that principle in Scripture. Great men of the Bible failed.

- Abraham failed to believe that God would give him a son so he slept with someone who wasn’t his wife, but God didn’t give up on him.

- Jacob was a thief, and God allowed him to bless the world through his children.

- Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord, survived the flood but ended up getting drunk.

- Moses stuttered and was a murderer.

- David committed adultery with Bethsheba, and then murdered her husband to hide his failing. Yet, David became known as a man “after God’s heart.”

Folks, the list could go on and on. Everyone fails!

3. I love (Romans 3:23): “for all have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God.”

- Everybody fails. You’re a superstar in baseball if you only make an out 700 times out of a thousand at bat. If you’re a professional basketball player, you’re at the top of the game if you miss 50% of your shots.

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