The Motivation of Fear

There are many wise quotes about the consequences to doing nothing. You may have heard the saying, “you miss 100% of the chances you don’t take.” I am a very conservative individual by nature. That doesn’t simply mean politically. It is a characteristic which applies in my life pretty much across the board. I’m not one who takes a lot of chances with my physical safety, with money, with relationships or anything.

However, there is a new wind blowing in my life. I’m finding that my fear of doing nothing is greater than my fear of rejection or failure. Without going into specifics at this time, (maybe another time), I am finding myself stepping outside my own familiar tendencies. I’m by no means wreckless. There is still conscious thought to my actions. I haven’t thrown caution to the wind. I simply mean that I’m discovering that I’m more afraid of the regret of omission, rather than commission.

I have, in the past, been fairly passive in certain circumstances. I’m finding that there is a growing measure of assertiveness which is rising up within me. You might call it confidence. You’d be correct in doing so, but not entirely. The fact is, if you’ve been reading my posts over the past month or so, I’m feeling empowered by my liberty in Christ. One thing that really held me back in my decision, 25 years ago, to become a Christian was that I feared I would lose my freedom. I perceived a whole lot more thou shalt nots in the Christian life. I saw it as a restrictive life. What I’ve discovered over those 25 years, and in a concentrated measure over the past year, is that a life which is truly submitted to Jesus brings liberty beyond description.

Right now, I’m not afraid of rejection as much
as I’m afraid of being in the exact same place tomorrow, next week, next month, next year – as I am today. I’d rather knock on a door and be told no than look back and wonder what might have been if I had only tried.

As Eugene Petersen writes in The Message, his interpretation of John 8:34-36 says the following:

Jesus said, “I tell you most solemnly that anyone who chooses a life of sin is trapped in a dead-end life and is, in fact, a slave. A slave is a transient, who can’t come and go at will. The Son, though, has an established position, the run of the house. So if the Son sets you free, you are free through and through.”

When we take action under the authority and power of God, you see a confidence which goes beyond a simple human characteristic. You’re just hungry to knock on doors and see if God has something special waiting for us on the other side. You just never know. Maybe there is.

What are you going to do about it?

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