• Gladys Childs

What if the opposite of failure is not success?




“Entrust your work to the Lord, and your planning will succeed.” Proverbs 16:3 (ESV)


I had failed. As I walked to my office to gather my things I kept repeating, “The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.” Job 1:21 (ESV) All I could do was cling to God and His word for strength that day and the months which followed as I navigated through the abyss of failure.


The world defines success in terms of position and excess. Excess of money, talent, fame, and possessions. What if the world has it all wrong? What if the opposite of failure is not success?


Worldly success does not matter if there is no faithfulness to God. We only fail when we are unfaithful. God’s viewpoint is what matters, not the worlds. We need to be faithful to the God in whom we can entrust everything.


Faithful to read scripture.

Faithful to pray.

Faithful to create Christian community.

Faithful to tithe.

Faithful to serve those in need.

Faithful to witness.


The opposite of failure is faithfulness. Faithfulness to God’s ways and timing. Our faithfulness should not be a singular or temporary event, rather it should be perpetual as we are faithful in each moment of every day. In my abyss of failure, I realized I had not been faithful to entrust God with my work circumstances. I was so determined to maintain control and forge my own path, that I did not consult with God if this was the path He wanted me to walk down.


While faithfulness takes many forms, entrusting God with our work, dreams, and plans are ways to be faithful. The word “entrust” comes from a Hebrew word which means to roll away; to commit; to turn over. I love the idea that entrusting our work, plans, and dreams to God means to roll away the responsibility of control over to Him. And, when we roll something away it does not come back, it stays where it was rolled. There is no better place for our plans and dreams than being nestled in the powerful hands of God.


And since we are talking about opposites, the opposite of entrust is to withdraw. Ouch. Either we are drawing closer to God through our faithfulness to entrust Him with all things or we are moving away from God.


Take another look at the verse for today:


“Entrust your work to the Lord, and your planning will succeed.” (Proverbs 16:3)


Did you notice the way the verse begins and the way it ends? Entrust…succeed.


When we are faithful to entrust our lives to God, we are not failures. What humans may deem as failure, God views as an opportunity to learn faithfulness. God’s standard is not the world’s standard. God’s standard is faithfulness. As Christians, faithfulness should be synonymous with success.


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