What is it you fear most in life?
Natural catastrophes? Growing old?
Losing an arm, leg, or perhaps your eyesight?
What about the fear of losing those people you love most?
Maybe its the fear of living with no real purpose.
Or speaking before a large audience.
Most of us have a common set of fears
which can be broken down into general categories.
(You can see a compiled list of the Top-10 HERE.)
When I wear a shirt or bracelet which professes my faith in Christ
I am stepping into an uncomfortable area that brings up feelings of fearfulness.
But of what??
Living in Portland, Oregon, I truthfully think it is the fear of being vulnerable.
By letting other people know of my faith,
I am opening myself up to their criticism of me.
Sometimes I have heard a sarcastic response,
or even hurtful words about my ‘brand’ of “imperialism”.
One person even called me a ‘prisoner to my fears’; explaining...
“that I have to rely on living with a make-believe support system
because I cannot handle life on my own.”
Weird, huh? Me... a prisoner?!?
But here is the what I hear most in these voices:
“I don’t understand you, and your willingness to become a target.”
“I don’t like your God, and I cannot imagine you do either.”
“I cannot comprehend you God, and why He does things the way you profess.”
And when I listen closely, this is what they say to me...
“I fear the God I cannot understand.”
So what I think scares me most is that I will have to verbally explain God,
and I will be unable to accurately do so,
thus failing miserably,
I will hang my head low and walk away in shame.
Did you catch the subtle irony here?
In those moments, it becomes about My inability,
and not God’s ability to work through the Holy Spirit.
In the end, what is most illuminating to me...
is this issue becomes about My faith in God.
Will He protect me from harm?
And, will He provide the words others need to hear?
When I make myself vulnerable, I put myself in Gods hands.
Then, when I wrap my mind around these thoughts,
I realize the hurtful words others speak aren’t even about me,
but more about the speakers own fears -
speaking from a place of pain,
they cannot begin to understand why God would love them so,
because they cannot see themselves as worth loving.
There's an epidemic of low self-esteem in our society today.
Most people do not like themselves.
Genuine self-esteem is built on your relationship with Jesus
and knowing what He created you for. -Rick Warren
And that is why being ‘vulnerable’ is so worthwhile...
not because we can do anything special,
but because God sees value in each of us,
and I want to share that truth with others.