Christians Must Accept Failure and Redefine It, Saddleback Pastor Rick Warren Says

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Christians must accept failure as a reality of life and then seek to redefine it, world-renowned Pastor Rick Warren advises.

In two posts dedicated to the topic of failure, Warren, senior pastor of Saddleback Church in Southern California, explains that Christians must first accept failure as being a reality for humans.

In Warren's first post, titled "You Need to Accept the Reality of Failure," the megachurch pastor explains that although failure is considered to be the most "unpardonable sin" in the U.S. because Americans "idolize success," the truth is that everyone fails.

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Warren suggests that Christians still allow this fear to control their lives, even though everyone has failed at some point.

"We've all made mistakes. It's not just a 'you problem;' it's a human problem," the pastor explains, adding that "not only have you made mistakes in the past, but you'll also make more in the future. I guarantee it. Even playing it safe and refusing to take risks is a mistake."

Instead of succumbing to the crippling fear of failure, Warren suggests that Christians accept that they will never be perfect.

"You'll never overcome your fear of failure until you fully accept the reality that you're not perfect," the pastor says. "You've already failed many, many times in life. So have I. You're a failure in some area of your life right now. And you'll fail a lot more in the future."

Ultimately, Christians must let go of this fear and accept God's grace, Warren adds.

In a subsequent post, Warren explains that the best way to reduce fear of failure is to redefine it.

Warren points to several well-known names in history who have failed, saying that the only thing that made them a success was their refusal to quit.

"Successful people are not people who never fail. They're people who get up again and keep going. Successful people just don't know how to quit," Warren says, pointing to such prominent "failures" as U.S. President George Washington, baseball player Babe Ruth and businessman Rowland Hussey Macy.

"Great people are simply ordinary people who have an extraordinary amount of determination. They just keep on going. They realize they're never a failure until they quit," Warren asserts.

The megachurch pastor concludes his message by saying "you're never a failure until you give up."

Warren has spoken on the topic of failure before, writing in May 2014 that the antidote to failure is perseverance.

The pastor explains that God specializes in helping failures and "lost causes," pointing to Jesus' resurrection from the dead three days after his crucifixion.

"You overcome failure when you admit it to God and keep doing what God has called you to do regardless of setbacks," Warren explains, adding that "the Bible reminds us that God specializes in using failures."

"The fact is, just three days after Jesus was crucified and the disciples thought their lives were in the tank, Jesus rose from the dead. God specializes in lost causes."

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