How To Avoid Being A Failure
The simplicity of the Word of God, the Bible, is astounding.
Most of us have too much complicated theology
and not enough simple believing. We are encased in so
many negatives that even the positives are shrouded in
darkness. We make God too difficult. Nobody wants to
be a failure. God wants no failures—then, why be one?
You don’t have to be, if you don’t want to. This is the
exact meaning of this study.
Remember the story of the woman who lost one of
the ten pieces of silver. Diligently she searched until she
found it. After she came upon it, she called in all the
neighbors and had a celebration because having lost a
little piece of silver worth a few cents in United States
currency, she finally found it. All the neighbors rejoiced
with her. Can you imagine a little town in your section
of the country getting excited over a few cents—let alone
all the neighbors becoming so animated about it!
How did this woman avoid being a failure?
Either what woman having ten pieces of silver, if
she lose one piece, doth not light a candle, and sweep
the house, and seek diligently till she find it?
And when she hath found it, she calleth her friends
and her neighbours together, saying, Rejoice with
me; for I have found the piece which I had lost.
Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence
of the angels of God over one sinner that
There are three interesting stories in the fifteenth chapter
of Luke and all three deal with the same major subject.
The first pertains to a shepherd having one hundred sheep,
only ninety-nine of which were safe and sound. The third
story is the one most people have erroneously called,
“The Story of the Prodigal Son,” more appropriately,
“The Story of the Forgiving Father.” The second is a
story of a woman who avoided being a failure because
she found one little piece of silver. You may laugh but
it is true—her husband would have put her out of the
house had she not found the lost piece of silver. Thus
she would have been a failure as far as the whole town,
including men and women, was concerned.
The pieces of silver are not merely ten ordinary pieces
of money or ten coins with little significance; they are
the most precious gift the bride receives from her bridegroom
at the time of their marriage.
Each piece of silver is approximately the size of an
American quarter. On one side of the piece of silver is
engraved the insignia by which that particular family is
known. If the family crest happened to be a sheep, well
fed, protected and safe, that picture would be engraved
on one side of all ten pieces of silver. On the other side
would be stamped the year in which the piece of silver
The husband gives his special dowry to his wife during
their betrothal. As for dollars and cents, it isn’t worth
much, but the sentimental value is priceless. Money is
no replacement for the lost piece of silver.
Both now and during the lifetime of Jesus, women in
the Orient often receive lavish gifts of jewelry at the
time of marriage. All the jewelry a woman receives
becomes her own property and possession with the
exception of the ten pieces of silver. She has all the
legal rights to all her jewelry; the husband has none. He
cannot take her jewelry away under any circumstances,
with one exception—the one jewel called “the ten pieces
of silver.” This jewel, in the event of the husband’s
death, must be handed back immediately to the husband’s
side of the family.
The jewel called the ten pieces of silver is worn by
the wife only on very special occasions. Because of her
love for her husband, she may put them on while her
husband is away at work and gaze at herself in a mirror,
appreciative of her husband’s gift and love. Because
they are so precious to her, she seldom wears them for
fear of losing one. The twenty-fifth or fiftieth wedding
anniversary would call for their wearing. Nothing less
than the most special occasion.
When the wife does wear the ten pieces of silver
jewelry, she wears five pieces of silver on one side of
her head, towards the front of the head, and the other
five pieces on the other side of her head. Each piece of
silver has a little hook at the top. With these hooks the
wife fastens the pieces of silver in her hair. Thus, you
can understand how easily one piece, or a number of
them, might become unhooked and, without her noticing
it, she could lose them.
If she loses any of the pieces of silver, she will be
put out of the house by her husband. The husband will
not divorce her or be angry with her because of this, but
simply expels the wife for she has disgraced him and
his house and has brought reproach upon his family.
The husband disposes of his spouse not because of the
monetary value of the ten pieces of silver, but because
losing one of the pieces of silver means the withdrawal
of God’s favor from the family. The loss of a piece of
silver is looked upon as a curse on the whole family.
Neither the husband nor the parents have spitefulness
for her; but the wife will receive no sympathy from her
husband, his parents or her other in-laws. A million dollars,
given by the wife’s family to the husband, would
not rectify matters.
When the wife loses a piece of silver, the whole town
is concerned about her for they know the consequences
of being dishonored and expelled. The women of the
entire city know what she must endure. Therefore, when
the wife finds the lost piece of silver and knows that it
is safe and secure, she calls in all her neighbors to rejoice
with her over the piece of silver which she has
found. She avoided being a failure.
We too can avoid being a failure by putting first things
But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness;
and all these things shall be added unto you.
Seek anything else first and all things will be subtracted
We are God’s most precious creation. He wants no
failures and He makes no failures. His will for us is
success in everything.
The first step in this ladder of success is for a sinner
to repent. Repentance is for unsaved sinners; confession
is for saved sinners. God’s love, the Father’s heart, so
yearns for the lost one that the Church will spend itself
unreservedly, leaving nothing undone in order to find
the one precious lost jewel. Who is that “jewel”? Each
one of us is if we have not accepted Him.
You say, “What must I do?” The Father says, “Repent.”
How do you repent? Repentance is doing the will
of God. It is not crying your eyes out, singing hymns or
running to an altar. All these may or may not be involved,
yet they are not repentance. Repentance is to do
what God says; and He says in Romans 10:9,
“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and
believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the
dead, thou shalt be saved.”
Repentance on your part is to confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus as your personal
Lord and Savior. It is to believe in your heart,
your innermost being, that God has raised Jesus from
the dead, that Jesus is resurrected and alive, yes, living
for you and in you. That is repentance. It brings joy, not
only to the angels in heaven, but also to the Father’s
heart for a most precious lost jewel has been found; one
more life has avoided failure.
But you say, “Can I still do this? Can I rise up beyond
all failure? Can I be sure?” Yes, you can be as
sure as God Himself. For He stands behind His Word;
He backs up His Word; He sees to it that His Word is
In Him you are complete. You are a son of God; a
joint-heir with Christ Jesus. You have resources unlimited.
With Him you cannot fail, only succeed. Without
Him, you cannot succeed, only fail. His invitation is to
you, for it is to all, “Come unto me. . . and I will give
you rest.” “. . .Lo, I am with you always. . . .” “. . .I will
never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” Come! Avoid being
* * *
You are the one to now decide
Whether to believe Him or toss Him aside.
You are the one to make up your mind,
Whether to accept Him or linger behind.
Take Him or leave Him, which will you do,
Believing is assurance of no failure for you