Daily Success
Institute in Basic Life Principles

Command 23 : Fear God, Not Man | Day 159

Transform Fear of Failure!

Fear of failure threatens to control many fathers. This often happens when a father is more concerned about getting ahead in his job than being the spiritual head of his family. He will spend long hours doing extra things to please his boss but forget to do the important "little" things that will please his wife and children.

Both the fear of rejection and the fear of failure have the same underlying cause: fear of man. This fear causes fathers to focus on man's criteria for success, which leads to a love of money and a host of self-inflicted sorrows. However, this pitfall can easily be avoided, because God has a clear, straightforward path to true success.

If we delight in God's Law and meditate on it day and night, we will prosper and be successful.

One day a Christian couple came to me for counseling. I had recently observed the clear connection between fears and broken relationships, and I decided to see if fear was contributing to their problems. Their current disagreement was over a short-term mission trip. I asked the wife what she feared most about the trip. She quickly responded, "I am afraid that my husband will become so involved with his teaching that he will abandon me." I then asked the husband what he feared, and he said, "I am afraid that I will not be successful in my teaching responsibilities."

Each one was reacting to the other, based on their fears. I asked the husband to describe his idea of success in teaching. He replied that it meant teaching young men how the Christian life works. I explained that God has given us a pattern of how the Christian life works in the relationship of marriage. The husband is to lay down his life for his wife, even as Christ laid down His life for the Church. (See Ephesians 5:25-33.)

I went on to suggest, "If you show your students how you are meeting the needs of your wife, she will lose her fear of abandonment and you will succeed in teaching through your example." He immediately saw the connection and purposed to make his commitment to his wife a priority.

God is able to guarantee total success if we meditate on Scripture and obey it, because our decisions will be based on the wisdom of His Word.

I have met many successful individuals who have told me that their success is a direct result of their meditation and application of God's Word. Recently, I attended the graduation exercises of the Oak Brook College of Law and Government Policy. When they introduced the student who graduated summa cum laude, I thought to myself, "What a predictable reward for a young man who has memorized and meditated on several books of the Bible while studying for his law degree."

Success is important. God wants every man to achieve it. We can do it by transforming the fear of failure into a motivation to memorize and meditate on God's Law day and night. Let's incorporate additional verses1 into our weekly memorization of the command so that others will be able to see the success in our lives that comes from God as a result of basing all of our decisions on the wisdom of His Word. (See I Timothy 4:15.)


1. Read additional Bible verses related to this command.

“Fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell” (Matthew 10:28).

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Contributing writer: Bill Gothard