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What If I Mess Up?

“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” (Philippians 4:13, KJV).

Recently, I fell flat onto my back in front of the morning crowd at my local gym. My feet got entangled in a rope ladder as I did agility drills. Before sitting up, I gasped for breath and whispered a quick prayer. It went like this: “Dear God, please either make me disappear or temporarily blind everyone.” I quickly scanned the area to see who’d witnessed my humiliation. It was worse than I believed. It seemed as if everyone was staring at me.

Then, from somewhere above, I heard my name echo throughout the gym.

“Katherine, are you okay?”

I looked up and saw pity in my trainer’s eyes.

“Yes, the only thing hurt is my pride,” I said and reached for his outstretched hand, allowing him to pull me to my feet.

A few of my workout partners jokingly shared incidents when they’d had similar things happen. Their stories did little to heal my bruised ego. But soon, we were back into the full swing of our circuit. I carefully avoided eye contact with people on the floor, swearing that everyone had seen me trip and tumble onto my back like a human turtle.

Later, our trainer explained that there are risks in attempting new regiments to build strength, and even if we fail, we’ll continue to build resistance, speed, and muscle. Therefore, if we fall, we’ll learn to recover quickly and get back onto our feet.

Similarly, God calls us to build ourselves spiritually to work out the dreams He has for us. Achieving those dreams means stepping out, messing up, and sometimes falling. While we seek to believe God's word, we develop strength and lead others by setting examples through our words and actions. Like it or not, people are watching us and modeling our behavior. Now, I doubt those who’d watched me trip and fall in the gym wanted to model my actions. However, I proved resilient by getting back up and preserving. I finished my drills. Over time I’ll continue to improve. Those are actions worth modeling.

Often, we complain to God that we’re not enough. We’re too old, too young, too clumsy, not intelligent enough, courageous enough, and ill-equipped. The truth is that God calls and uses inadequate (and even uncoordinated) people to work through us and receive the glory that belongs to Him.


Throughout the Bible, God reminds us that he always comes through for us and wants our goals and dreams to come true more than we do. Despite the trips and falls, we experience in life; God reminds us that “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” (Philippians 4:13, KJV).

Lord, thank you for the dreams you’ve given me. Please keep me encouraged when I mess up when I trip and make mistakes. Help me remember that people are watching my life, and I need to get up when I fall and keep pursuing You. Amen.

Your turn: Do you have a funny gym story to share? How about stories of falling and getting up in your faith walk? We'd love to hear from you!

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