Tuesday, January 17, 2006

My greatest handicap: Fear

I am beginning to be faced with a harsh reality, one which I have denied about myself because it is safe:

I am a coward.

I am terrified of leadership. This has been the sole reason why I have not done anything risky in my life:
Ambition for a decent career (I have just crawled through jobs avoiding responsibility, avoiding anything that requires me to lead other people; fearing failure and termination, which would leave me without income);
pursued a deep relationship with anyone (Accountability for my sin? Exposing the darkest areas of my life, including my crippling fear? Too SCARY);
gone to the mission field (I'm so messed up and ineloquent, how can I be considered competent or qualified to minister to anyone else? I'm afraid of leading someone the wrong way by showing or teaching them something I don't understand myself. There's also the issue of trusting God to provide the financial support, and the fear of asking people for help);
finished school (I've never been able to afford it, and now I'm deep in credit card debt—if I am forced to work less, I will default on my obligations, and, in the words of my dad, become a bum); among other things.

Obviously, the thoughts I have had (parenthesized above) are not how I should be thinking. They are defeatist and destructive, even if I understand why I think them.

I know that there are verses in the Bible that address the fears of men. For example, 2 Timothy 1:7 (NASB) is pretty direct: "For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline." I have read some of these verses, and I understand them on the brain level...but applying them in my deep heart and soul is another matter. My cowardice keeps me from moving forward to overcome my cowardice! It's a pitiful existence, that I am so gripped with fear that I skulk around on my belly, believing these lies and avoiding risk, while hypocritically putting on a face that says, "I am not ashamed of the gospel. I am brave enough to talk to anyone about God, and I have confidence in my ability to lead."

I know that I need to just step out and do something risky (though not stupid—just risky), and that once I do, I will be rewarded with confidence to do other risky things. Failure should not be an excuse to stay home and hide under my bed; it should be a motivator to get out there keep trying.

What I desperately need is a mature male figure to come alongside of me in a mentoring capacity. There are many things that I just plain do not know, and modes of behavior in which I have never known how to act. I need someone to teach me how to do what my own father never taught me. I need someone to whom I can be accountable for my sin. I need to learn how to be a real man, who can step up to responsibility without cowering away in terror, who can act knowing that I might fail, but that failure allows me to grow. I need someone who can show me how to walk as Jesus walked.

I cannot do it on my own. I have tried that life, and it has failed me. Jesus, lift me up.

3 Talked Back:

At January 17, 2006 at 6:26:00 PM CST, Blogger Jim said...

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At January 19, 2006 at 11:46:00 PM CST, Blogger Katie said...

Hmmm... Deep thoughts by Stan. I'm praying for you that you get some help and guidance in this area. The fact that you recognize it is awesome, now the question is how to move forward. Let me know what you learn...


At January 19, 2006 at 11:46:00 PM CST, Blogger Katie said...

By the way I think you can do any of those things!


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