In Praise Of Doing Poorly What Fear of Failure Keeps Us From Doing At All

In Praise of Doing Poorly What Fear of Failure Keeps Us From Doing At All

For what seemed to be the entirety of my childhood, I allowed the fear of not doing something (perfectly) well keep me from doing it at all. There were times I pushed past those feelings and tried out for team sports I wasn't terribly good at, but by and large I spent most of my youth as a closet pre-quitter. 

The thing about quitting is that everyone agrees that no one should be a quitter; and yet all of us have more than enough excuses for why we simply can't do this, that, or the other...

But, I recently was reminded by pastor/author Dr. Rob Rienow (Visionary Family Ministries) of this poignant quote by G.K. Chesterton:

"If a thing is worth doing, it is worth doing badly."

Chesterton did not mean that the goal in our endeavors is to aim for mediocrity, but rather that we ought not let the fear of mediocrity keep us from doing something worthy at all:

The line, “if a thing is worth doing, it is worth doing badly,” is not an excuse for poor efforts. It is perhaps an excuse for poor results. But our society is plagued by wanting good results with no efforts (or rather, with someone else’s efforts). We hire someone else to work for us, to play for us (that is, to entertain us), to think for us, and to raise our children for us. We have left “the things worth doing” to others, on the poor excuse that others might be able to do them better.
— American Chesterton Society
In Praise Of Doing Poorly What Fear of Failure Keeps Us From Do At All

So, here I am at the start of the week, staring down the list of all that I'd rather give up on, for fear that I cannot, will not, or may not do it to the degree that I find acceptable. What's on your list? Homemaking? Exercise? Homeschooling? Walking with the Lord? Pursuing a dream? Kindness to your husband

In Praise Of Doing Poorly What Fear of Failure Keeps Us From Do At All

Could it be that the most important things that you could be doing today are the very things that are worth doing, EVEN IF DONE POORLY?

Could it be that there is no one better to do these worthy things than you -- not because you are the most qualified, but because you are called?

Could it be that, like me, you have allowed yourself to be a closet quitter in your mind? Whether motivated out of pride or fear, our choosing to withdraw effort to what we think we not "good at" may ultimately be an issue of worship and belief. 

"But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the LORD sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the LORD looks on the heart.”  (Samuel 16:7)

He sees you, friend. Not for all that you believe are your failures, insecurities, or ineptitude...but for the forgiven, regenerate, and transformed he's bringing about in you.

We don't have to be quitters because our perfection is not what's keeping us abiding in Him or doing what He's called us to do. We add nothing to His perfect atonement...He is faithful. All we add is praise. That's enough for me to press on today. 

Perhaps you need to be brave today, and just take the first step? Friends, He is faithful for your brave.

The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting. It has been found difficult; and left untried.
— G.K. Chesterton

Pressing on in faith and not fear.

Because of grace,

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