If life’s a stage, I hid behind my curtain of fear and only popped out when I was sure nobody would hook me around the neck and yank me back behind the curtain. After all the taunting and abuse I suffered as a kid, my final solution was just to shut up. Put on my mask and keep going ….
Perhaps you find yourself like that, I dare say like most of us, allowing fear of what others think of you to have more influence over your life than what you would like ….
The young woman says, “I’d better sleep with him, or he won’t love me anymore” …
The father, stressed out over finances, obediently sends out an inflated invoice out of fear that his boss would fire him otherwise ….
A single mom gives in to her teenage son. Why does she cave? Because she cowers in fear whenever he launches into a rage over not getting his way …
There are myriad young, unwed mothers; morally compromised men; frustrated emotionally overwhelmed moms; and delinquent teens destroyed by the fear of others opinions ….
Decision-making is a process. And fear of man can influence every aspect of that process. This is huge. It’s perhaps one of the greatest hindrances to our personal growth and professional advancement. How many times have you thought about or wanted to do something right and good — and trepidation about what others would say or think stopped you in your tracks?
As I have been writing this, I must confess that the fear of other’s opinions has been a continual nuisance to me. But I keep plowing ahead because I’m writing from my heart. I’m sharing who I am and how I have dealt with various fears in my own life. Again, my goal here is to get over the fears in my own life. If I can’t be authentic in the process, then I cannot rise above my circumstances in integrity and truth, nor be the woman of God that I want to be; especially if I am giving in to fears myself ….
One of the driving factors of my declaration of war on fear is my compassion for people who are dominated by the fear of what others will think. I have a friend who is debilitated by the fear of offending someone. It creates rampant anxiousness, indecisiveness and overwhelming stress borne out of a fear of making the wrong decisions ….
Do you sometimes feel like your feet are cemented to the floor because you’re so afraid your decisions will disappoint, anger or hurt someone’s feelings? Do you hold your tongue even when the Spirit is prompting that you speak out of fear that you might offend? Well, you are not alone, but that fear is certainly not in your best interest ….
Are you afraid to speak up or speak out or speak at all? Your opinions matter. Your light is not insignificant and your voice is meant to be heard for your own good and the good of those you care about. Your voice influences others. It has impact. It moves others. It can change their world …
Your fearful silence also speaks volumes. When you don’t step up and share your thoughts when appropriate, your silence reveals to others that you live in fear. Those who look up to you will surmise that living in fear is the thing to do. Imitation happens; it just does ….
To move beyond fear, you must recognize your God-given worth and the value of your contribution more than you fear any consequences coming from that contribution. The best solution for everyone is to speak the truth in a loving way. How people respond is not your responsibility. Being honest is. This is how we grow from fearful to courageous …
So what’s the answer to the question, “What will they think of me?” To me, the more relevant question is, “What will God think of me?” In other words, I have a genuine love for Jesus that makes me want to please Him. I want to do His will and glorify Him with my life, and this love is the sole motivator of my obedience.
John 15 says, “If you love Me, you will do what I command, and My command is this: love one another as I have loved you” and that is paraphrased; but this loving command is the foundation behind my decision to take a risk of obedience. And notice there is no stipulations to that verse. There isn’t anywhere stated love them as long as they don’t offend you, or love them if they deserve it. No if, ands, buts or grey area. Black and white — “love one another” and you can’t love people and shrink back in fear at the same time.
What is the real risk anyway? Is it actually riskier to obey God or the one we know who is telling us things that keep us from obeying God? Who is our friend, and who is our enemy? “If God be for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31)
Obeying God is presented to our minds as fear and risk only to the one who wants to distrust God and please people more than Him. Is the greater thing to offend them or to offend Him ???
So I say it’s time to raise up an army of brave, obedient sons and daughters who love God, look like God, act like God, and love like God. Who love without bias, who speak boldly without shame, who fight like soldiers and rise up as warriors
As it is written: “Thou therefore, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men who shall be able to teach others also. That thou endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please Him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.” (2 Timothy 2:1-4).
We are at war and the battle is real. We, the sheep need to learn to fight; to rise up and become soldiers. Leave behind the docile passiveness and become bold, fearless, and unstoppable. It’s time to take a stand for Christ and start defending what God has called you to do: to love one another, to forgive, to extend mercy, to “feed my sheep” ….
There is an enemy rising up now in the land, a wolf roaming about looking for stragglers, those sheep that lag behind: isolated, alone; that he may devour them; cause division, hostility, discord among the brethren. But God has equipped us: “Blessed be the name of the Lord my strength which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight.” (Psalm 144:1).
Why fear the what if’s? We are told to “fear not them which kill the body, but not able to kill the soul: but rather fear Him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” (Matthew 10:28).
Take a stand. Be bold and determined, be invincible and courageous to fight the good fight of faith. Be a force to be reckoned with. Armor up and “above all, taking the shield of faith wherewith ye shall be able to quench the fiery darts of the wicked.” (Ephesians 6).
I ask you, are you a threat to hell? God says you are. He says you are His “battle axe” (Jeremiah 51:20-23), and He is waiting for you to pick up your sword and fight for truth ….
Father we thank You that You have set watchmen on the walls of Your church to help to restore and rebuild the lives of many believers, whose hope in You seems to be weak and crumbling due to this wicked and evil generation in which we live. Help us in the power of Your Spirit to restore lives back to a focus on You and to encourage their hearts with the gospel of grace and truth, which is contained in the unchanging and unchangeable Word of God. Thank You that Your Word is life and health and hope to all who feed on it in their hearts by faith, with thanksgiving ….
Help me I pray to be an effective and efficient watchman on Your wall and I pray that I may be faithful to carry out the work of prayer warrior, interceding for so many members of the Body of Christ, who are finding life in this world so hard to endure. May I be faithful to lift up in prayer family and friends, and those in Your body that are struggling with their faith in You. Protect and help all our Christian brothers and sisters who are facing severe and bitter persecution in so many countries of the world ….
Comfort and encourage them in whatever situation they may find themselves and may each one be mightily used by You as a good soldier and faithful witness of the saving blood of Jesus in Whose name we pray, Amen