Fear has been on my mind lately.
At my new church,they have been discussing fear...or as Pastor Greg calls it: the F word. This week he spoke on fear of man. That is the idea of "my confidence, my self-worth, value, identity, approval, decisions about what I say or do are based on how people view me." So many things that he said hit home:, in particular (but not exclusive to--haha. Little legal document joke there):
I think about how people are going to respond to me based on if I say, do or think something
Always concerned about looking good in front of people
Do things so that people can like me
If I buy them gifts they will like me more
All of these things I have done at one time in my life; some of them I've done today. When did fear become such a part of my life?
Somehow I had become numb to what was motivating me in doing certain things. I'm keenly aware of it now that I've moved to a new city.
It’s easy to suddenly be consumed with the idea of “what will someone think of what I say or do” when you are in a new place. It’s the awkwardness of being new. Everyone you sit with is already friends, already knows each other and already has a history together.
I do think about what people are going to say about my thoughts and opinions. Of course, usually in my mind people are telling me I’m great and that they all love me. But nonetheless, I’m thinking it. Sometimes you have to think it.
Point in case, you have to delicately tell someone that there breath stinks…that is a good time to think ahead and choose your words wisely. But honestly, I’m not merely talking about trying to say difficult things in a delicate matter. I’m talking about fear controlling what I do put out there before people.
What is that fear?
Fear of rejection?
Fear that no one will love you even after you've said your bit--that's inevitable isn't it? If you take a stand for something you believe in, there will be people who reject your ideas and won't accept you. That's kinda the nature of "taking a stand".
But what if it’s not a ‘taking a stand’ kind of issue. What if it is just simply showing your heart to someone who you know. Does fear hold me back from honesty? I’d like to say no. In most cases it is no, but it does happen.
So, am I without hope? Of course not, Christ is in me…failure is not an option. Renewing my mind is an option, though. And I choose to meditate and think on Exodus 2:20 “Don’t be afraid, God has come to test you to instill a deep and reverent awe within you so that you won’t sin.”
“Fear of human opinion disables, trusting God protects you from that.” –Greg
I choose to trust God and rely on Him to turn my fear into faith. I chose to fear Him and be confident in the fact that not everyone will like me, but God will always love me. That who I am is who He made me, and I’m still His painting in progress. He’s not done with me yet.
Right now, I choose to meditate on His word until my confidence, my self worth, my value, my identity, my approval, my decisions about what I say, think and do stem from Jesus Christ.