Sunday, October 4, 2020

Do Not Be Afraid

Have you ever been so afraid of something that you avoid it because you're afraid of failing before you ever get started?  I have.  I do this all the time.  I'm afraid of everything.  I let my fears define my life.  I let my fears limit me.  I have a problem with perfectionism.

Perfectionism is the fear of being criticized.  It is the refusal to accept anything less than perfect.  Perfect means flawless.  And none of us are flawless.  It is impossible to live without failing at something.  But I have a deep-rooted fear of failing.

Fear has to do with punishment.  If you have been punished unfairly, or you have been severely mistreated, I'm finding that it's natural for you to dread making mistakes.  I didn't understand this before, but I'm in the middle of truly examining my life, both as a child and as an adult.  I suffered several types of abuse as both.  If I didn't do things right, if I didn't do things to please others or make them happy, then I was punished in one way or another.  I'm realizing that this is part of the reason that I'm now a perfectionist.  I'm never happy with anything I do, and I'm fearful of trying new things or being around other people.  I believe this is also a part of the reason for the anxiety that I now suffer from.

What we have to remember is that God is always with us.  He will never abandon us.  Anxiety and fear can cloud your judgement, so it's important to turn to the Lord when we need direction in our lives.  I've learned that we don't have to be perfect for God.  He loves us no matter what.  No matter the mistakes we've made, no matter how severe they are; God will never stop loving us.  And nothing can separate us from Him or His love.  Romans 8:38-39

It's okay to be scared, but you have to keep moving forward.  We'll make mistakes, but we just need to learn from them.  We'll have fears, but we need to turn those fears into hope.  If we mess up, it's okay...just start again.  We cannot let our past define our future.  The greatest mistake we can make in life is to be continually afraid that we'll make one.  We have to stop letting fear dictate our lives.  We have to trust God.

God is with us, and God is for us.  We have to let Him redirect our path.

                      "There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear.  For fear has to do with punishment..."
                            I John 4:18