10 If you fail under pressure, your strength is too small.
Proverbs 24:10 (NLT)
I have written on this verse before. In this article, I am going to look at it in another perspective. The topic here is pressure. Another common word we use is stress. In our modern society, having pressure is very common. Even in the above verse, God does not guarantee us any form of stress free lives. We are not immune from pressure or stress but we are not supposed to fail under it. This is the message from God in the above verse.
So, is pressure good or bad? The answer depends on how we deal with it. Many people had excelled when faced with it and at the same time many had failed under it. How will you fare in your pressure? It totally depends on how you intend to deal with it. In other words, we decide our own destiny though our actions today.
When I was in my first (and last) religious church, I could never believe that I am the master of my destiny. I was lead to believe that Christians are supposed to behave like mindless puppets to be manipulated by God, the ultimate puppet master. If God wants me rich, I will be rich. If God wants me poor, I will be poor. If God wants me to be sick, I will be sick. Sometimes I wonder, what if God wants me to be a terrorist?
Now that I am set free by God from the lies of theology, I begin to understand that God is not interested to micro manage me as though I am a mindless puppet. I have the right to choose what I want based on the truth I read from the Bible.
What has this got to do with pressure? We can choose our response to it. In particular, we can choose whether to triumph over it or to fail under it. The decision is ours, not God’s. If we choose to exercise our strength, we will never fail under any form of pressure.
Pressure happens when we are faced with the situation that we are not used to. This includes situations where we are expected to achieve more than what we think we are naturally capable of.
Here is an example. Suppose that you are capable of making one burger in every five minutes. You will not feel any pressure if you are asked to make 10 burgers in 1 hour. There is more than enough time. However if you are required to make 20 burgers in one hour, there will be pressure because it is beyond your current capability.
The next question is how are you going to deal with it? Are you going to give up, prepare to be sacked and find a new job for failing to meet expectations? This is failing under pressure. If you do that, you will most probably be repeating the same process in the future. At the end of your life span, you will still be the same person, capability of making only one burger in 5 minutes. You will never improve, nor will you advance to the next level.
Fortunately, this is not the only option you have. The alternative is to find ways to speed up the process to meet the target. Once you do that, there will be an outcome. You can either succeed or fail. If you succeed, congratulations. You have advanced to a higher level. You are in the position to move even to a higher level of prosperity.
However, should you fail and lose your job, it is still not the end. At least you have learned something new and tried. You have also established a habit of not giving up without a fight. In the end, you are better off compared to the alternative of failing under pressure.
In conclusion, it is clear that God wants us to triumph over all the challenges we face in our lives. Yes, there will always be pressure, but that does not mean God wants us to fail under it. Our role is to overcome it and use it as our stepping stones to greater success and glory. This is the real destiny for all believers. No exception.