Scared. Afraid. Hampered by fear. Whether legitimate and illegitimate, I have fears that occupy my mind and influence my actions. I have fears that slow me down and trip me up. I have fears that impact me in ways that I am not even aware.
But, after hearing the following two quotes from Yoda in the first 3 episodes of Star Wars, and after watching the negative impact that fear had on Anakin Skywalker's life, I think it would be a wise investment of my time to identify and face the things that I am most afraid of.
"Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to hate. Hate leads to anger. Anger leads to suffering."
"Train yourself to let go of everything you fear to lose."
What are the things I fear? What are the things that I'm afraid to lose? What are the things that I hold on tightly to? What are the things that scare me the most? Here's what I've come up with:
- Pursuing my desires rather than God's will.
- Not fulfilling God's purpose for my life.
- Falling into some sort of sin that would disqualify me from ministry.
- Not saying what needs to be said.
- Dying with potential unrealized.
- Not being disciplined.
- Living a lie.
- Not obeying God's leading in my life.
- Allowing success to inflate my ego.
- Not developing others to realize their full potential.
- Letting my parents/siblings/family down.
- Not becoming the husband my wife deserves.
- Misplacing my priorities.
- Not getting out of debt.
- Losing my athleticism.
- Not preaching accurately and boldly.
- Losing my ability to communicate clearly.
- Not experiencing the full measure of the Holy Spirit's power in my life.
- Being abandoned by my team.
- Not leading the church well.
- Mishandling the church's finances.
- Not ever experiencing the joy of raising a child.
- Seeing my wife's full potential go unrealized.
- Not being a good friend.
- Seeing people I love fall into sin that ruin's their lives.
- Not being respected by my peers (other pastors).
I could probably think of more things, but this is definitely a good start. I'm not quite sure what to do with this list, but I do know that the act of writing it out was a very healthy exercise. At the very least, by writing my fears down and by facing them on a page, I am declaring that I will not fear my fears!
I encourage you to invest some time thinking through and identifying your fears. Fear unrevealed is fear that cannot be healed. Fear not understood is fear that cannot be overcome.