One of the best graduation speeches I heard was not by someone famous, but by a retiring headmaster at a local Christian school who began his talk with, “I stand today in defense of failure.”
He talked of those times in his life when he fell short, then either tried again and found success or found another path which led to a new calling. By the time he finished, parents, family and graduates were on our feet, cheering. Each of us in the audience could identify with one who faced a fear (of failure) and embraced that fear as a pathway to new adventures and accomplishments.
Failure is not a bad word, especially if we fail at the right things. In fact, pregnancy help ministries need to fail more in at least the following three areas:
1. Let’s Fail to Compare
It is important for individual pregnancy help centers and organizations to look outside of themselves, turning to other like-minded ministries for counsel and new ideas. This is how we learn—from each other. One of Heartbeat International’s key phrases is, “We are better together.” And of course, we are.
But when we use the sharing of ideas to compare our ministry to another one that is "better" (or struggling more) than we are, we expend energy in the wrong areas.
This doesn’t happen often, but it does happen. Usually, this takes place because a center's leadership believes they are falling short. As the pregnancy help community, let’s fail to compare; choosing instead to learn from each other and grow with each other as we pursue God’s best for each of our ministries.
2. Let’s Fail to be Realistic
Faith is “the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”
When God told Abraham he would father a great nation, but first, he'd need to pick up stakes and move, remember Abraham had no children and no reason to believe he could father anyone—much less a nation. But Abraham ditched realism for faith, and packed his bags.
Our mission—to end abortion as we know it and build a new culture of life—is unrealistic today. Our society is too far gone, say the realists.
Realism isn’t necessarily bad, but if we’re not careful, it can get in the way of faith. If we are to win, sometimes we need to stop and ask ourselves, “Are we being too realistic? Is this a time when we instead must step out in faith?”
At times, we need to fail at being realistic and choose faith. It’s a scary journey, but the destination can be amazing.
3. Let’s Fail to Care (What Others Think)
While we want to maintain the highest standards for ourselves, let’s be honest enough to admit we are going to be attacked by the abortion industry no matter what we do. Let’s also keep in mind that many professional organizations that create healthcare “standards” are stacked with those who lean toward abortion—which in no sane world can even be described as health care.
Before God, we must seek the best for our clients and patients in terms of care, in the integrity of our marketing and in how we treat each person who walks in our door. This is what we care about.
But when those who wish to attack us command us to jump, our first response should not be, “How high?”
Those who come in our door are our priority. We will treat these precious souls as we would wish to be treated. This is our “Golden” standard of care, and we must uphold this standard. And we will do so under the law, unless the law conflicts with this standard—which is an entirely different conversation.
Tweet This: That woman who needs help is always our top priority. @KirkWalden #prolife.
There are times then, when we must fail to care. When those who wish to demean our work tell us we must do this or that to be worthy in their eyes, we must be wise enough and strong enough to sometimes respond with, “We don’t care.” We serve our clients and patients, not our opponents.
If we want victory, let’s fail to compare. Let’s fail to be realistic. And when necessary, let’s fail to care. If we fail at these three, we are more likely to win.