Pastor Kevin Sanders

"He must increase, but I must decrease." -John 3:30

Righteous Risks

Overcoming the fear of failure

Cast your bread upon the waters,
for after many days you will find it again.

Give portions to seven, yes to eight,
for you do not know what disaster may come upon the land.

If clouds are full of water,
they pour rain upon the earth.

Whether a tree falls to the south or to the north,
in the place where it falls, there will it lie.

Whoever watches the wind will not plant;
whoever looks at the clouds will not reap.

-Ecclesiastes 11:1-4

“I’m not really afraid of failure anymore.”

I spoke these words to a friend of mine while talking about our upcoming radio show.

The broadcast has the potential to bless thousands of young Filipinos.  It also has the potential to be a miserable failure–a complete waste of time, money and effort (not to mention a very public embarrassment).

There’s no way to know what will happen.  We won’t know for sure until we try.

I never would have attempted something like this five or ten years ago.  What has changed?  Well, slowly but surely, I’m learning:

I’m learning that anything worthwhile involves some level of risk.

I’m learning that great men and women took great risks to accomplish great things.

I’m learning that fear of failure is an emotional black hole—a deceitful trap to be avoided at all costs.

I’m learning that the regret of a missed opportunity lingers much longer than the temporary disappointment of failure.

Solomon made a wise observation:  if you try too hard to avoid risks, you’ll probably never do anything (I call this the “paralysis of analysis”).

This passage is not instructing us to live recklessly—God does not honor foolish choices.  Jesus quickly rebuked Satan when he suggested a nosedive from the temple roof (Matthew 4:5-7).

Solomon was instead speaking of calculated risks and probabilities:
Plant a seed, and some of them will produce crops.
Invest, and some of it will come back to you.
Stare at the clouds, and . . . well . . . you may notice some funny shapes, but don’t expect much else.

Remember this:  there are no risks in heaven—it is a place of complete safety, security, and joy.  This life is only chance we get to take risks and exercise our faith.

I’m learning my lesson—but what about you?
Is fear of failure keeping you from trying new things?
Are you too afraid to take risks?

Expect great things from God, attempt great things for God.
-William Carey (father of the modern missionary movement)

Note:  This post is a few years old now so I should probably let you know how things turned out.  The radio show was not a failure.  Over time it was played in at least three different cities on Christian radio stations.



  1. I think that whatever it is we do or have done for God, is never a failure because our aim is to please and glorify the Lord, not people, we’re not after fame or fortune and shouldn’t expect that from what we do.

    If we touch one soul, be the instrument to change one life, then our efforts our not in vain. We just never know the lives that we’ve touched ministering but the LORD knows and that’s the important thing.

    the radio show is a great idea! Go for it. My prayers are with you guys.

    One fails only when one never tried. (hug)

  2. Fear will not exist if you don’t think about it.

  3. Amen!!!

    May God’s peace, that is beyond human comprehension, rule over your heart, may He continue to direct your step and go ahead of you… and bless your ways!

    Thanks for being so honest kuya kevin! Wonderful reflection… Will be on praying… Ü

  4. hi, this is my first time to post a comment in your blog but i’ve reading your articles for quite so long.the truth is i really don’t know when , where, why,and how did your blog reached my e-mail but still i am glad that every time i’m opening my e-mail,if i have time, i’m reading some of interesting topics and issues you had written because i am also fond of writing some of my thoughts about life, love, and relationship on my own and as i’ve read your articles, it seems that it also reflected what i’ve thought about life issues (and even tragedies) in which mostly living it out through our strong faith in God.i am not a religious freak but i do really believe in God and His magnificent existence in this world and as a teacher in profession, i see to it that i’ve made my students realized the significance of thinking God as the most powerful force in moving (as well as surviving)in what life will take us as I apply it in every lesson that i’ve given to them.because i know God has always a purpose and He will never ever put us in a test that we can’t passed through as His creation.thank you for sharing your thoughts and guiding us in the righteous path that God has made upon us in which the truth is, it is really a big risk to take but it is our strong faitn that will bring us there in achieving our purpose or end goals in life.God bless, good luck, and more power…hanggang dito na lang po…

  5. Thanks for the encouragement, Ma’am D!

    If ever you need spiritual help/advice from me just let me know.

  6. I have just realized recently that I have this fear of failure, and I was shocked how it affected the way I lived my life. I have never failed big time but the shocking truth is that everything that I do is nothing but mediocrity. Good grades(not the best), talents(jack of all trades master of NONE),and among others. I have realized that it is all because I’m afraid to fail so I ended up doing mediocre stuffs and I know that it’s NOT what the Lord had planned for me. The Lord delights in excellence and we do this by taking risks, going out of our comfort zones. I heard from 700 club Asia once that our faith will never be tested if we are on our comfort zones, if risks are not taken, if we don’t go the extra mile. If Abraham, Moses, David and other great men of God did not obey and took the risks, then the whole history would have been changed! 🙂
    Victory in Christ!

  7. About the radio program , I just pray that it will be on air in a lot of radio stations especially here in Cebu..hehe..your radio program’s concept is a breath of fresh air amidst all those “wanted txmate” radio programs, those liberated dj’s that talks about their night outs and other “cool” stuffs they do. Trust me, it’s plain senseless SOME people talk about in here.(Some, not all okay) And people of all ages listen to them!

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