I love that Paul, the witness to the Gentiles (that’s us), could easily be considered a failure—at least by our standards. How often he trudged into a city, laid out the message of the cross, and then got kicked out or chased away. Never rich, never featured in Rome Today magazine, never more than a stone’s throw from death.
But what a spectacular failure. God used this man’s frustrations to tear up the world.
I too often measure success in terms of how far I’ve come or how big of an impact I’ve had. But that’s not how God’s Kingdom works. It starts out like a seed—a dead, lifeless thing that falls into the ground and gets covered up. From there, great things sprout up.
When Jesus described the Kingdom, He used simple imagery. The small things in life, the things you can touch in your heartbreak, pain, and defeat. It’s a place for the poor, the persecuted, the childlike. This Kingdom flips our version of success over and spanks it for good measure.
Fail big—if it means that no one can mistake the results as something you could have done alone. Fail often—if it means pointing people to the cross and the God who never stops watching for them to return. Fail hard—if it means being free from this world’s measures of success.
After all, the Kingdom is worth it.