Kobe Last month, Kobe Bryant, star guard for the Los Angeles Lakers, set an NBA record in his 19th season, by missing more field goals than anyone in the history of professional basketball (13,421).  This report widely circulated as one more reason to criticize the much maligned NBA super star nearing the end of his playing career.  This record helped critics support the hypothesis of Kobe being a selfish player who shoots too much and harms the success of his team with his ego-centric approach to the game.

Interestingly, he surpassed this list of hall of famers in reaching his milestone; Celtic great, John Havlicek (13,418), Elvin Hayes (13,296), Karl Malone (12,682), Kareem Abdul Jabbar (12,470), and Michael Jordan (12,345).  These superstars are the most prolific scorers in NBA history.  The point being that to be a great scorer you have to be willing to make a lot of attempts, and accept failure as a part of success.

Brett Favre, the superhero quarterback for the Green Bay Packers, holds the record for the most completions in the NFL at 6,300.  But he also holds the record for the most interceptions (336) and the most sacks (525).  Reggie Jackson, nicknamed Mr. October because of his incredible clutch hitting in playoff and World Series games, holds the record for the most strike outs in the American League at 2,597.

All of these great athletes were not afraid to try and fail.  In fact, that is what allowed them to succeed.

In addiction recovery, relapse is considered a part of the recovery process.  Most addicts I know who are enjoying a long season of sobriety got there through some stumbles and failures.  Many are trapped in addiction because they fear the failure of attempting sobriety.  Satan has convinced them that they can never succeed so why try.  His messages within our heads and hearts proclaim self-doubt and failure.  But God proclaims through the Apostle Paul, “If God is for us, who can be against us? . . . Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?  Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?. . . No, in all these things we are MORE THAN CONQUERORS through Him who loved us.” (Romans 8:31-37)  In Christ, we have already won!  So nothing should hold us back from trying.  For God promises in His Word that, “for He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.” (I John 4:4)

So, don’t let the fear of failure paralyze you from potential success.  Fail your way to victory.  Failure is the pathway to success.

So step up to the plate, swing for the fence, throw up another jumper, you can’t win without trying.  All the greats know that.  Be a great!

Tom Reynolds