There’s been a lot going on in my life lately. From planning a wedding, trying to do work, trying to lose weight, trying to handle church responsibilities.. and so much more. Basically, I have a lot on my plate. It’s so much that I need to do and I’ve been putting off things that I know I should do but just couldn’t bring myself to put the effort into doing it. Did you get that elaborate run on??? Good, cuz I’m not correcting it!
Anyhoo, it’s been on my heart to address …well ME. I know I’m “super transparent”, but again…I’m selectively transparent. I either only tell you what I want to share, or what God keeps putting on my heart to share (which is usually out of my comfort zone). I know I don’t have to tell everything and that some, if not most things are better yet left unsaid. But then there are things that need to be revealed, confessed, admitted not so that you gossip but so you can deal with them, righteously.
It happened one day that I was scrolling social media, as I tend to do, when I came across this article 9 “CHURCH APPROVED” SINS THAT PLAGUE YOUR LIFE
I think there’s a lesson here for the church. What if the big sins, you know the ones you try hardest to avoid, aren’t the greatest threat to your joy and the church’s mission?
Maybe it’s the sins lying underneath, the ones considered normal or acceptable, the ones going undetected, that are affecting the church the most. I want to address 9 of these sins.
It was then that it struck me: I’ve been living in sin. “Little”sins of my heart. So my next posts will be dedicated to unveiling and confessing these sins.
“The phrases “do not fear” and “do not be afraid” appear 365 times in the Bible. Ironic? I think not. And here’s what I think the church misses about fear. Let me pose this as a question. What is the opposite of fear? Courage? Bravery? William Wallace?
Wrong. Wrong. And right, but you’re ruining my point.
The opposite of fear is…LOVE. Add to this the reality that God is love. So, according to the Transitive property of mathematics, the opposite of fear is…God.
If you’re a child of God, the one sin that shouldn’t plague you is…fear.
Yet, Christians are the most fearful people on earth. Even our salvation is rooted in fear. Does it bother anyone that the primary method of bringing people to Jesus has been to scare them away from hell?
That’s fear language, the antithesis of God. Look at what John says.
There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.1 John 4:18
The church is scared to make decisions out of fear. Christians are hesitant to step into dangerous situations out of fear. The catalyst for our obedience is fear. Where’s the love?
Several weeks ago, I decided to remove the words “fear, scared, and terrified” from my vocabulary. Maybe you should do the same. It could change how you see the world. And God.”
I realize I’ve mentioned my struggle with fear before, but only partially. Here is a more complete list of my fears:
- Fear of judgement (because I say too much and some can’t handle it, so you judge it instead. THAT hurts. But thankfully Christ protects/heals me from it when I let him)
- Fear of being “lame” (I wanna still be relevant, but how so without becoming tainted by the culture?)
- Fear of losing my identity (bold) and becoming “timid” (basically becoming so unlike myself that I have to wear 2 faces)
- Fear of shame (past & current sins cuz some of ya’ll won’t let that be in the PAST. I’m not proud of all I’ve done, but I reveal it before someone else can)
- Fear of embarrassment (wanting to looking like I have it together in real life…I don’t. I’m still healing from embarrassing things in my past and current. Like who wants people to talk about them? NO ONE!)
- Fear of disappointment/failure (because what if I never become what I was prophesied to become? I’m such a mess and so stubborn)
- Fear of never becoming successful (in my employment and finances. Basically, what if I still struggle with money FOR THE REST OF MY LIFE!?!?!? ARGHHHHHHH!!!)
- Fear of staying unhealthy (fat, greedy, lazy, tired, what if I die because of something I could have changed??? My inner fit girl teases me…I know she’s dying to come out)
- Fear of STI/STDs (I still wonder if something is wrong with me. Like what if something pops up? But don’t I deserve it?? I was out there… Do you get consequences/punishment for past sins???)
- Fear of staying stuck (still in the same struggles, never growing, staying the same)
- Fear of not fitting in (Sometimes I just wish I looked different or had a different story…so others would accept me easier)
- Fear of hurt (I don’t like to hurt. AT ALL. My heart is fragile. It takes me a while to heal from hurt)
- Fear of death of loved ones (I’m not used to loving like I do now, and the deaths I’ve already experienced affect me greatly, so the thought of losing people I cherish scares me.)
- Fear of always having to forgive others FIRST (ugh, this one kills me. It’s like I get convicted a TON about being the bigger person, the 1st to approach others, in love and ask for their forgiveness. I have YET to be in a situation where the person came to me 1st. It’s always me and frankly THAT SUCKS…so I whine and pout, but eventually do it, because I love the Lord and don’t want to have these things affecting my heart)
- Fear of giving up (sometimes I think about quitting. Just walking away from all the self awareness and going back to my hard, cold life. I tend to do that when life in Christian circles seems worse than unbelievers i.e. gossiping, slander, nasty attitudes, unforgiveness, 2 faced ppl, People worshippers, ppl who act like nothing is wrong, etc… Gosh that stuff IRKS my nerves! And let’s not forget all these self imposed “rules/guidelines” that supposedly makes us look like “Good Christians”…I digress. But then I remember where I came from and I wouldn’t ever Go back to that…Remembering the joy of my salvation keeps me going)
- and prob many more I just cant recall right now
My biggest fear is that those I love will hurt me and I’ll lose myself, because of love. What if I love something too much and it’s taken away? Will I be broken? Will I be mad? Angry? Bitter? Or what if I love unconditionally and never get that love in return? Doesn’t that warrant some type of response? Or will I have to take the high road, again, and continue to love them, as they are, for who they are, and not who I want them to be? These are the fears that plague me. Why must loving be a sacrifice for the one who loves? Why must I say, “here, have my heart and do as you will, because no matter what, I LOVE YOU?” That’s crazy!!!
Yet Christ did it for me and still does.
If God is love, why does it scare me to love like him? Because I’m not God. I am flesh and my flesh is typically what I allow to lead when things get crazy complicated and out of my comfort zone. But I know for sure that The Holy Spirit dwells within me because when He leads me, I am bold, confident, fearless…and loving. My words are carefully said and my heart is free of malice and my love is pure. So maybe it’s time I take the challenge to remove fear from my vocabulary. It’s powerless in comparison to God’s love.
So this is the beginning, I can’t be worried about what others think or say. I have to be free from that bondage. Free from the bondage I created in my mind with words, that soon became actions. I can no longer live life through the lenses of deception. I am a child of God, it’s time I really live like it.
Hello Love, Goodbye Fear.