Why You Should Do What You're Afraid Of
If you asked me who or what I thought had the most power over each of our individual lives - other than the Holy Spirit - I would say, Fear. Fear controls many of us even without us even knowing.
We are afraid of everything.
We are afraid to disappoint. Because we don't want to hurt anyone.
We are afraid to fail. Because we don't want people to think poorly of us.
We are afraid to be vulnerable. Because people might hurt us.
We are afraid to try. Because we might not succeed.
We are afraid to commit. Because things might not work out.
We are afraid to dream. Because those dreams might not come true.
I could go on. Why? Because I have experienced most of these things and more. I think we all have.
Those of you who have been with me for a while know that I strayed away from doing what I truly loved in college because I was afraid I would fail. I was afraid that I wasn't good enough. I was afraid I wouldn't be successful or that I wouldn't be able support myself.
But when we give into these fears, we are doing ourselves and God a huge injustice. We fail to use our gifts and trust how big our great God really is.
But like most things, there is a reason for this fear we experience. And in many ways, if we press against it appropriately, it will strengthen instead of weaken our faith.
You see, there are a couple of good things fear forces us to do.
- Take Action There are two ways we can respond to our fears - both require an action. We can either run from our fears, or push forward through them in faith.
- Trust God The second action requires trust. It requires that we trust God, step out in faith, and trust that He will come through however He sees fit.
Am I saying you should do everything we are afraid of?
I would advise you to not walk around in dark alleyways alone or to go skydiving without someone who has actually been trained to skydive. I would also avoid going home with strangers or trying to get close to things like snakes or lions because you want to face your fears.
What I'm talking about are those deep desires you have. Or the gifts you have but are afraid to share. The dreams, God has planted in your heart, that you've prayed over, and that you feel called to pursue - these are fears that you should never avoid.
And maybe you don't think the things you are shying from are really "dreams". But I'm not even talking elaborate things here. Maybe, you just need to step out in faith in your relationship and finally get married. Or maybe you just need to step out in faith and run for that committee or leadership position at work.
Every day we have the option to chase comfort and security, or to pursue our dreams, use our gifts, and trust God with the rest.
Marry the girl/guy. Apply for that job. Write that book. Have that conversation. Try to do something different. Make every decision you make after prayer, counsel, and with our Lord God, and you will have nothing to fear.
No one ever lived a meaningful life by running from their fears.
"For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind." - 2 Timothy 1:7