Posted on Tuesday, April 3, 2012
in Emotional, Relational, Social, Spiritual, Values
I’ve been confronted by several people that I respect recently. Whether I want it to or not, confrontation can tear at, or even trample, my self-identity.
One person suggested that I sounded like I thought that I knew more than other people and “if only they knew what I knew then they would be okay.” I hate when I’ve been condescending.
I’ve also been confronted that I seem intimidated around people who are wealthier than me; and they are right.
Yesterday I wrote about my Self-Doubt Sunday; another day in which I feared failure. On Self-Doubt Sunday I was scheduled to teach at an affluent church, and I was nervous.
As I fought with my fears I was torn between two opposite struggles. I was projecting judgments onto listeners I didn’t know and hadn’t met. I was also in the grip of the woulda-coulda-shouldas wishing that I wasn’t so weak. Yuck!
I talked down my fears.
I drove to the church.
The Lies I Feared vs. The Reality I Experienced
While driving to the church I prayed about my concerns. God’s answered my prayers.
Comforting, reassuring words came to mind.
By the time I reached the church I was just “normally nervous.”
Later as I taught they listened attentively, smiled generously and asked questions curiously. No one, no one, seemed to care what I wore.
I wish when I feared failure and rejection that I had remembered these wise words, “Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD is kept safe…My friends, don’t be afraid of people. They can kill you, but after that, there is nothing else they can do. God is the one you must fear.” 1
Feeling Good Fearing God Gambit
In chess a gambit is an opening in which a player makes a sacrifice, typically of a pawn, for the sake of some unseen benefit. An ancient Proverb addresses a spiritual gambit. “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.” 2
Can I, can you, risk believing a loving God can be feared? If so, what’s the unseen benefit?
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge,” setting us free from the fear of failure and rejection. In God’s hands we experience security.
Without the oppressing fear of rejection staring us in the face we feel more secure. Though people may reject us, the Creator of the universe will not. Though others may put us down, God will not let us down. Though God may allow us to have troubling circumstances, we are secure in the love of God.
“The Lord gives strength to his people; the Lord blesses his people with peace.” 3
We all need peace, so this is mysilentscream: “Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you.” 4
1 – Proverbs 29:25, NIV; Luke 12:4-5, CEV
2 – Proverbs 1:7, NIV
3 – Psalm 29:11;
4 – 2 Thessalonians 3:16; NIV