Fear. A common emotion initiated by a vast number of stimuli. As humans, we fear many things. A simple google search can produce many of those fears easily.
Perfection. Ever since I was young, I have been meticulous. When working on projects, I would describe myself as a perfectionist. While I would not go as far as to say that perfectionism is an obsessive behavior, it can and sometimes does alter how I operate. As a perfectionist, I fear imperfection - that is to say, I fear to fail. Quick analyses show all the potential obstacles that I could run into during the process. In an attempt to work them out before I start (so as to avoid said problems), the task may take much longer than anticipated or in extreme cases it may never even start. Besides me sharing with you the complexities of my brain, you may be wondering what the point of this is, right? Fair enough, I will tell you: I am afraid of failing in my current ministry.
This fear has a two part root:
- fear of failing God - it is His ministry that I am called to do, if I cannot get to 100% and reach the field, have I not let Him down?
- fear of failing YOU - many of you have partnered with me in the past, you have been my support and encouragement in discouraging times, but if you are trusting in me now and I fail, have I not let you down?
Perspective. Where or in whom does my trust lie and who is being glorified? The only way I can fail God or you is if either of you is trusting in me. While many of you do trust me, your trust for this ministry is not in me nor my abilities, rather it is in the One who called me. You trust in God and He trusts in Himself. I do not even factor into the equation.
- God does not measure success by my achievements.
- Your trust is not in me but rather in God's work.
Getting me to the field is not my job. Only God can provide the means necessary for me to go. I cannot. When I understand this and embrace it then failing God is not possible and the only way I can fail you is if you place your trust in me and not God (which makes it your fault then. . .right? OK, only kidding.) Even though I know all of these things, I still regularly face the feelings of failure which stir up a fear in me. I want to do well so it scares me when I think I might not. Daily (and many times during that day) I must remind myself that all I do is, "In His strength, For His glory, By His hand. All things that God does, He does for good. He has chosen me and I must obey. There is nothing for me to do beyond that. Plus, a failure is only a failure if I refuse to learn from it."