It’s the fear I have to beat back with a stick every day. I mean every day.
If I let this fear take hold I would attempt nothing, risk nothing, have nothing.
I’ve never met a person who hasn’t looked it in the eye.
Here’s a personal example of this fear in my life: A while back our church kicked off a two weekend push to invite guests to our church to hear the gospel. The two fears I battled with: 1. What if people don’t come? 2. What if they don’t respond?
Turns out people did come and people did respond.
I was still left with the question, where does this junk come from?
Answer: It comes from a deeper insecurity; the fear of failure.
If I could put a mic in my mind this is what you might hear : “If people don’t invite people, what does that say about my leadership? If people don’t respond to the gospel when I preach, what does that say about my preaching? Can I even do this?”
The Power of “If”
My thinking becomes dominated by the word “if”. Now, that’s not always a bad thing. The word “if” is powerful. It’s all about potential. But, when I’m walking in the fear of failure my “if” is fixated on the potential of failure. When I am walking in faith, the “if’s” turn in to seeing the God potential in my life.
The Emptyness of “I”
Notice another theme throughout my mind conversation, the word “I”. This is pride. Most of the time this fear is less about the mission failing and more about me looking like a failure. “What will people think of me if this doesn’t work?”.
If we let the fear of failure run rampant in our lives we’ll end up never trying or risking anything. Our motto will end up being, “Never try, never fail.” We might not ever have to deal with the pain of failure, but we’ll end up suffocating the growth in ourselves and others we lead. That is failure.
So what’s the remedy? On a daily basis I have to drag my pride and worry to the cross and nail it there. God has called me to do the right things for the right reasons and leave the results up to Him. That puts faith over failure.
Spend some time meditating on these words:
For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline. (2 Tim. 1:7)
It’s time to get honest. Bring any fears you might be harboring to the Lord. Picture yourself laying them at his feet, trusting that He’s working all things out for your good. Allow God to change your “If” statements to ones of hope and faith. I’m praying with you.
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