I believe the following phrase has hindered me from growing and excelling in ministry: “I wonder what ____________ will think about all of this.” Admit it, in your own network of people you work with it is those words that keep you from doing something that you feel is right but you don’t want to hurt the person’s feelings. It is necessary to consult people about your plans and often the thought of what ___________ would think has kept me out of trouble. But I believe this is a fear tactic placed on us by none other than Satan himself. I think he smiles when we don’t get something accomplished in our churches because we are scared of what ____________would think. Often ______________ is the person who has all the money in the congregation and we don’t want to offend them because that would be a significant weekly drop in our contribution.
Leaders, you might call that fiscally responsible thinking, I call that sin. I am not sure how many times I have squelched an idea because I was scared of what people would think. Points I should have made in bible classes, retreats and sermons have gone by the wayside because fear has crippled me like salt on a slug. Paul tells us:
“For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.” (2 Tim. 1:7)
Why do we get so afraid of what other people think? If what Paul said is true then the very thing we hold on to does not (or at least should not) evoke fear rather it empowers us.
“The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.” (Romans 8:16)
Did you catch that? We have God on our side. We have the good guys and this means that nobody can question our salvation and of that we can and should be most assured. Who cares what ____________ will think about this or that? If we are following the will of God then who are they to question you? They are probably just jealous, grumpy or like to pick fights because they are never wrong.
I am so tired of remaining stagnate in fear that someone might say something if I teach, believe or do certain things. I am tired of the brotherhood watch-dogs who write in their bulletins, preach in their lectureships, and rebuke in their pamphlets little jots and tittles of what preachers are saying and doing. I am tired of being scared to tell someone they are sinning in fear that they might reject me or that their parents would give me a verbal thrashing. I am tired of not speaking up when I hear so much gossip and instead keeping quiet in fear that people won’t like me. I am tired of not preaching/teaching things I believe in fear that it might cost me my job…I was afraid to even type that on my blog but I did it anyways. I mean is it wrong to be able to disagree with each other on matters of opinion and still be called brothers and sisters?
God told Joshua: “Do not be afraid for I am with you” (Josh. 1:9). I firmly believe that if we let fear grip us then we can never move on to the freedoms that are ours in Christ Jesus. That’s all for now.