Sometimes I possess the courage of a multiple Medal of Valor recipient while at other times I’m a chicken. Why does that happen?
One day I will have oodles of stamina and determination in my writing and feel like nothing can stop me. I’m an indestructible literary force that can’t be touched or dissuaded. But less than twenty-four hours later I’m hiding in a corner, listening to that seductive voice in my head remind me that I’m nothing, that no one cares, no one is listening, and to forget about writing ever again.
Again, why does that happen?
Well, I think I know. Actually, I do know the answer. The answer is…
I’m so self-centered and self-focused that I am putting myself before others and my Redeemer. When it comes to my blogging and my writing, when I get nervous or scared, it is because I am mostly concerned about what others think of ME rather than what GOD thinks. Instead of trembling before a holy God and doing what I believe I should be doing (writing for His glory), I cower before the opinions of the minority and end up stalling.
I become a temporary quitter, and that is not a fun place to be at as a man who strives to be a Godly Writer.
This prideful fear shows itself in many areas of our lives. (Check your own self this past week and you’ll likely see it was staring at you as well, with a smug grin, fanged teeth, and an alluring whisper of doubt.)
Here’s an example of what I mean. We Christians are often scared about sharing our uncommon faith with unbelievers, and so we remain quiet. Silent. Rather than declaring the Message of messages which can pull people out of Hell’s clutches and transfer them into the loving arms of Christ’s embrace, we keep our mouths shut while nearly 150,000 people around the globe die every day, entering the bonds of eternal condemnation. We are consumed by the idea that someone might ignore us, laugh at us, or reject us, and so we do what comes natural. We do nothing at all.
We need to stop doing that. We need to remain strong. You need to remain strong! Bold. Courageous. We need to act like the people (and writers) we have been created by God to be.
Remember These Three Truths About Yourself
The apostle Paul was used by God in amazing ways. He was a writer, a church-planter, a pastor, and a bold public speaker. Whenever he entered a city, there were either spiritual conversions or riots. (Whenever I enter a new city, they serve tea.)
But people’s reaction should never dictate our behavior, neither as Christians or as Christian writers.
The apostle Paul mentored a young man named Timothy. Timothy was gifted by God as a public speaker. The problem for Timothy, however, was that he got nervous. He got scared. And rather than remain bold and speak the Word in love (like he knew he should), he chose to not speak at all.
Essentially, Timothy did what many of us as Christian writers do as well. He did nothing at all.
The apostle Paul knew this and decided to write a letter to Timothy, encouraging him to persevere and not give up. Yet rather than a superficial pep-talk that wouldn’t last through the end of the week, Paul reminded Timothy about who he was and the uncommon arsenal he possessed.
There is one sentence in particular that I want to highlight here, and it happens to be my personal life verse as well. I typical recite this verse to myself each and every time I am about to preach the gospel at church, teach a Sunday school class, or share the gospel with a stranger. This verse has been so encouraging to me over the last few years!
However, I have recently started reminding myself that the truth of this verse transcends all the boundaries of who am I as a man. It has more application in life than merely keeping me motivated about my public speaking. It has to do with every aspect of life. Aspects of life which include my blogging and writing.
Paul wrote the following words to Timothy (and to us as well),
“For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline” (2 Timothy 1:7; NASB).
“For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline” (2 Timothy 1:7; NIV).
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7; NKJV).
Ultimately, if I am fearful in my writing, it’s not because God is making me fearful. If I get nervous or anxious about what others might think, that mindset didn’t come from the Lord.
God gives His children power, love, and self-control. God gives us a sound mind. God is an Encourager. He is not the author of discouragement.
Remember this verse when you blog. Remember this verse when you are wondering whether or not to finally write that book God has placed on your heart.
Remember this verse the next time you are about to step outside your comfort zone. Remember it while you are building your writing or public speaking platform. Remember these truths about overcoming fear as a writer.
It is amazing what happens when we focus on the Lord and other people first, rather than ourselves.
QUESTION FOR COMMENTING BELOW: How do you deal with fear in you writing? Are you overcoming fear in your writing? What things have you done (or put into place) to help you overcome the stumbling block of being a “people-pleaser” rather than a willing writer?
* Image credit: Vince Farrell (Creation Swap)