Summary: You have two options in dealing with failure - Growth or Paralysis. Peter chose growth!

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TEXT: Luke 5:1-11

TITLE: What to do with failure - Peter

SERIES: When Life Gets Messy…

TOPIC: Failure

OCCASION: Burnside Christian Church, October 18, 2009


INTRODUCTION: Good morning! We are currently in a sermon series simply called: When Life Gets Messy.

Because when life gets messy - life gets hard! Life becomes difficult!


Today I want to talk about FAILURE! And specifically - What to do with failure!

What do you do when your plans don’t quite match up? What do you do when things don’t work as you’ve planned?

And I want to start by giving you three facts about failure: These facts are like DUH! I knew that!


1. Failure is painful. When you fail, a scar will form. Damage is done. Your ego - wiped clean. Your confidence - gone. Your pride - replaced with embarrassment. And with failure comes pain. Emotional pain - spiritual pain - and sometimes even physical pain. And with the pain comes scars.

Some of you are dealing with the scars left over from failure. And that’s because failure is painful!

Fact #2

2. Failure is universal EVERYONE will fail at something! Like Neo in the Matrix jumping from rooftop to rooftop, EVERYONE will fail. It doesn’t matter who you are or how successful you think you are. I mean, Neo was the chosen one and Failure can happen to anyone at anytime!

Why do mid-life crises happen? Because you feel the need to prove to yourself and everyone you know that you’re life isn’t a failure! That you MUST be successful because you drive a fancy little 2 seater sports car that you can’t afford.

And not everyone will experience a midlife crisis, but everyone will experience failure! It’s universal!

Fact #3

3. Failure results in one of two things: Paralysis or Growth.

1. Paralysis - I know there are some who refuse to try something new because they tried it once before and it didn’t work out. So they have made a promise to themselves that they are not going to risk failure ever again. And so they are paralyzed - frozen - unwilling to move or act!


2. Growth - Your failure will cause you to learn from your mistakes and grow!

Those are your choices! Learn from your failure and grow! Or allow your failure to paralyze you.

Now which do you suppose Jesus would have us do?

I think this video illustrates perfectly what I’m trying to say and what you believe to be true:


Failure happens to everyone! But what you do with that failure will make all the difference in life!

T.S.: Today I want us to focus on the story of Peter -

So what particular failure of Peter’s am I going to focus on?

“Oh I know! You’re going to talk about Peter walking on water, right?” Nope

“Oh…then you’re going to talk about Peter denying Christ, right?” Nope.

You see, that’s what makes the life of Peter so valuable! He was one of Christ’s most faithful followers and yet his life is marred with failure! So let’s learn from Peter’s failure, shall we?

Our story takes place in Luke’s gospel. Chapter 5, the first 11 verses:

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