There are two fears I have to face down almost every day.
1. What if I can’t really do this after all? My thoughts go like this, “No one wants to hear what I have to say in my writing. There’s a million people that can pastor better than I can. What if I’m just adding to the noise?” For a long time this conversation raged in my head and I let it convince me not to step out in many areas. Even during those times that I actually felt like I had something to share I defaulted to, “I can’t.” In my mind I was living out the motto, “Never try, never fail.” This is the fear of failure at it’s finest and it still desires to have me.
2. What if people think I’m trying to draw attention to myself? The fear of what people think can be crippling and I know what it is to be paralyzed by it. “What if they think I’m just trying to build a platform to lift myself up instead of Jesus?” I was stopped dead in my tracks with sharing my work because I knew that I couldn’t manage people’s perceptions.
These two fears: the fear of failure and the fear of man are always trying to crush the purposes of God in you and I. However, we don’t have to live in or under those fears! The scripture the Holy Spirit brings me back to time and time again is found in Colossians 3:1-2:
“If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.”
Did you catch that? If we’ve been raised with Christ because we’ve placed our faith in him, we don’t have to seek or look to things on earth (stuff, old mindsets attitudes or these fears), we can set our minds on things above: Jesus, his view, his plans and purposes for us.
When we catch this we’ll come to value Jesus’ perspective about us and this life above our broken view of ourselves and the fear of how others might view us.
What about you? Is there a fear of failure that’s holding you back? Is there a fear that others won’t understand your real motives? Follow me in choosing not to look at your own inadequicies or the potential critisicm of others. Look to Jesus and his purposes!
What could the breaking of these fears mean for your life? Should you be writing, going to school, changing your career, going on the mission field, sharing a gift God’s clearly given you? Whatever it is, be who God is calling you to be and SHINE!