Born Again Dreamer

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

10 Ways Fear Paralyzes Christian Leaders

Most of us recognize by now that fear is a powerful controller in our lives. But are you aware that fear is disguised as many other common emotions? Emotions like confusion, embarrassment, insecurity, helplessness and discouragement, all are fueled by fear.

Fears can run rampant in our minds if we
allow them to...
Because fear is such an influential and pervasive weapon against growth, it's vital to our personal progress that we recognize how these fears manifest themselves in our day to day lives. Attention should be particularly given to the damaging impact on our faith these negative feelings can have when allowed to languish in our thoughts.

Over the years I've found in my own life, as well as the lives of many others, that the kinds of fears which can extinguish a leaders confidence present themselves in a diversity of similar hues. Below I've created a list of 10 of the most common expressions of fearful thoughts in the minds of Christian leaders,  entrepreneurs and pioneers. 

  1. Anxiety: Allowing others opinions define what you can or cannot do. "I saw the way she/he looked at me when I told them my dreams...they don't think I'm capable...they probably think I'm crazy..."
  2. Confusion: "Am I really doing God's will...maybe I'm not?
  3.  Bewilderment: Doubt about the peace which God gave you initially: (If the Lord gave you the peace to do something He hasn't changed his mind; He's not wishy-washy).
  4. Embarrassment: "If others knew about the kinds of sins I struggle with they'd think I was a fraud." 
  5. Insecurity: Afraid of looking like an idiot; of being humiliated in front of others. 
  6. Insignificance: "I'm a nobody; I'm not educated enough, or important enough, attractive enough, or eloquent enough..."
  7. Discouragement: "I'm too sinful to be used by God."
  8. Rejection: Wanting to avoid the pain of rejection from others.
  9. Inadequate: Afraid of having a past mistake or sin exposed.
  10. Helplessness: Your current circumstances don't look the way you've envisioned your dream happening, and you feel powerless to make things conform to your plan (which of course you are, but that's good news not bad news!)  

One reason these feel like such significant hurdles is their potential validity. It's quite possible that if I do what God has asked me to do, I just might look like an idiot to some people (in fact I'm quite certain I have!). However, the cause of Christ must be bigger in our hearts than our own fears of pain and rejection.

The chance does exist that you're in error about what you believe God has called you to do. If you then step out in faith and obedience and do that thing; do you really believe that you serve the kind of God who would abandon you for trying to be obedient? Of course not! He loves you!

     My only admonition to you in pursuing your dreams and casting your fears aside is if you're trying to move forward in His will for your life alone. If you're not connected to other godly people in accountable and transparent relationships then it is wise to be fearful as you are ignoring clear biblical instructions. Let me underscore this warning again: you cannot do the big things of God without the help of others. We all need the body of Christ; the church.

 Aside from that precaution; be encouraged! Even our mistakes can be a part of His plan! If we are moving toward Him, and we make an error about His directions (and who hasn't?), He will teach you through your choices

So, today, I want to encourage you to examine your thoughts and share your fears not only with God, but with another safe godly person, or better yet,
     ask that person to pray with you! As you seek His kingdom in thanksgiving and praise, watch the power of God lead you through the doorways to your hearts desires.

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