Saturday, June 14, 2014
Courage to be Honest with Me
Luke 12: 6-7 " Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows."
Courage is defined as "the quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, pain, etc., without FEAR." I've been thinking about fear a lot this week. Fear comes in many forms. Fear can be a result of our human brain's assessment of an experience according to an accumulation of past experiences, feelings, and understanding of the situation. What has interested me this week is our interpretation of circumstances that result in fear. What got us to the conclusion that we need to fear? All of us have difficult circumstances that arise throughout our lives. Everyone has, at one time or other, had those people that have let them down, left their lives, or hurt their naïve hearts and scarred the image of a perfect world. After all, we live in a sin-filled world, full of those that need forgiveness. We cannot get away from that. The Word of God says, "All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God."
So, when does fear take its grip? When do we start to believe our assessment of our situations and decline to take flight because of fear? I have had the experience of finding fearless love for children that had a disadvantage early on in their lives. For them, they learned fear of abandonment, fear of physical abuse, and fear of this world without a loving, nurturing hand from their beginning. For them, the learned behavior of fear has become a primal instinct for survival. Years later, the repercussions of those early years have stayed with them and affect their lives at every turn. Sometimes the fear is crippling to their growth as a healthy individual, especially when it comes to relationships. It is not easy to overcome the desire to control, manipulate, or quit things that are difficult or hard for them.
So where does that leave me? Although I was not an abused or neglected child, I still sometimes experience lack of "quality of mind" that enables me to face difficulty, danger, and pain. I have noticed this week the subtle waves of insecure thoughts that cross my mind, even in the most unforeseen places of my busy days. Self doubt creeps in, reminding me of my past failures and how I will fail again. Hesitation cripples me as I think, "Am I going to mess up? Are they going to accept me? What if I am wrong?" And so, I can choose to accept these lies that I'm a failure and it's never going to work, or I can be honest with where those fearful thoughts are coming from. I can choose to acknowledge where those thoughts are from and choose to use a new pattern of courage and not of fear. I can pray as Elijah did in 2 Kings 6:17, that God would open my eyes so that I might see the unseen, and know that God's got this! He knows my name and everything about me. The fears I have are just wrong signals from my human mind. I have a big God that has His army encamped around me and has GOOD plans for me, BIG plans for me! I will have courage to move ahead, knowing Christ is in control! And I will not fear what God has planned for me.