Hmm. . .I had to think on that for a while and pray over it.
Lord, is there something I'm afraid of? Do I have some fears I need to face?
You're afraid people won't like you.
What's wrong with that? I know I want people to like me and what I have to say, and it bothers me when they don't, but why is that a problem? I'm discovering that doing what God has asked me to do does not shelter me from conflict. Some people may be critical and judgmental and assume all kinds of things about me that may or may not be true. There will be some I love and respect who disagree with me. I have a hard time reconciling that. How can that be? How can believers see things so differently sometimes? Yet, situations like this are documented throughout the Bible. Job and his friends did not see his situation the same. Paul and Barnabas did not see eye to eye. Jesus' own people, the Jews, thought Him a radical.
What does my fear reveal? Distrust. Doesn't the Holy Spirit work within me? If I am seeking God and consistently in His word and praying and growing in my faith, how can I mess things up? Can't God take even disagreements that may arise and make them into something good? Am I trying to please men instead of God?
I know this is a pretty simple concept and in my head I understand I can't please everybody, but apparently my heart hasn't accepted the message. Worrying about what other people might think is holding me back. The same woman who gently suggested I deal with my fear also said, "If you're living a life without conflict or pain, you're playing it awfully safe." If I'm playing it safe, am I burying my talent? If I drag my feet in God's work, worried about the impressions of others, is that sin?
Any great work for God requires risk. Just ask Moses, Gideon, Esther, Paul, and Rahab. Why should I be immune? Am I willing to sacrifice acceptance, even by other believers, to obey God? Do I really have a choice?
Fearing people, and what they may think of me, rather than Almighty God is sin. I cannot do that anymore. Lord, help me confidently forge ahead in focused determination for You.
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