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5 Things Christians Fear (but Shouldn’t)

AfraidFear and uncertainty are completely normal. Universally speaking, success comes when you push pass your reservations, take a risk, and run headlong into the unknown.

Here are five things Christians fear which might be prohibiting their freedom and effectiveness:

Shame

There have been times when shame has been valuable in my life. Believe it or not, I’m not proud of everything I do (nor should I be). Shame’s humiliation has, at times, been a great benefit to me. Most of the time, though, it hasn’t been a blessing.

Shame can be a tool used by others to keep us in line. And because we fear the alienation that comes with being shamed, we don’t always act when we should. We’re often afraid to speak out, disagree, and not tow the party line because we fear the disapproval and alienation of our tribe.

As a rule, the majority isn’t always in the right.

True community isn’t built on being entirely homogeneous. Don’t be afraid to disagree, to challenge, or to be different. In the end, if you’re not accepted for your unique perspective, you might be in the wrong place anyway.

Foolishness

No one wants to look stupid. But let’s face it, Christianity pretty much guarantees that at times, you will. No, I am not disparaging my faith—it’s God’s intention.

God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God.”—Paul (1 Corinthians 1:28–31)

If Christianity was all about the most intelligent arguments, we Christians could all sit around and pat ourselves on the back for being smart enough to figure it out. Luckily for us, it’s not.

A God who’d save people by allowing them to kill him is foolish, and there’s a glorious salvation in that absurdity. You don’t have to have to win debates to express the beauty of the cross; you just have to get over your fear of people thinking you’re an idiot.

From the simplest to the most well-informed people, God’s kingdom is available to all. This is good news! If its accessibility is contingent on my looking a little silly, it seems like a fair trade.

Ambiguity

Sometimes the most powerful words you can say are, “I don’t know.” But man, Christians seem to be so scared of uncertainty.

Scripture doesn’t intend or pretend to answer all of the universe’s questions. In fact, if you’re honest, it introduces questions you didn’t think to ask. Half of our problem is the need to create an air-tight theology that rids the world of its mysteries. I’m convinced that a lot the dogmatism that we bicker and fight about is not only factually incorrect, it’s unnecessary.

Just relax. Sometimes it’s more comforting to admit you don’t have the answers and use that as a basis for hope and trust.  It sure beats constantly needing to defend an intellectual citadel you’ve built to imprison your doubts.

Opposition

No one likes to feel embattled, but we will. And when we are, we need to respond with kindness, grace, and love.

Because we fear being an opposed minority, we often wrongheadedly seek power. If people are going to be at odds with us, it’s probably best that we have the ability “lord over” them, right!? We continually seek this control despite the fact that, historically speaking, an empowered Christianity has often been a terrible Christianity.

I honestly cannot find a shred of New Testament teaching that sees Christianity as a force that thrives with power. Everything beautiful about Christianity lies in its opposition to the world’s values.

  • Where the world lusts for power, the church embraces service.
  • Where the world values the strong, the church gives deference to the weak.
  • Where the world bows to the rich, the church values the poor.

Jesus promised opposition to those who were serious about following him. This means that if you’re on the receiving end of hostility based on your closeness to Christ, you’re in the exact right place—and Christ is glorified in how you respond.

Pain

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but pain is coming for us all. As sure as you draw breath, things are going to happen that you didn’t expect or desire. The sooner you come to grips with that truth and quit avoiding it, the sooner you can get on with living passionately.

We spend a lot of time avoiding pain’s inevitability, both in our own life and in the lives of others. We miss out on a lot of what makes life incredible.

While I don’t embrace a theology that makes God the author of the bad things we experience, I do believe that he excels in turning our defeats, sorrows, and disappointments into amazing victories and opportunities to display his glory.

We don’t just miss out by avoiding our own pain, we miss out when we avoid the pain of those around us. Sometimes it’s scarier to enter into the terror of someone else’s experience because we don’t know what to do, and it reminds us of our own vulnerability.

Truly trusting God means that we, of all people, should be running toward the uncertain, precarious areas of life. We should be the most courageous, audacious, and resolute people on the planet.

What things do you think Christians fear that they shouldn’t? Leave me a comment!

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10 Responses to “5 Things Christians Fear (but Shouldn’t)”

  1. I find your points really resonate with something I’ve been thinking about lately. I’ve never liked the idea of faith or theology being absolute and unquestionable. I think of faith as a direction I take in life, as a path to walk. And just like Jesus stumbled and fell three times while carrying His Cross, we as Christians have to accept that we’ll stumble in our faith journey. The trick is just finding the will to get back up once we fall.

    • LORD, My Father, My God, Who keeps His Words, Who shows mercy towards those who love Him and keep His commandments; We confess our sins and admit our unworthiness before you. All Correctness and Righteousness is Yours alone.

      Acknowledging this, we still come to You and ask for Your mercy and for Your forgiveness because You alone are the Source of all things. Enable us to help You restore our nation and our laws unto You, LORD. Have mercy on us and turn us from our iniquities back to Your Truth. O LORD, according to all Your Righteousness, I pray, let Your anger and Your fury be turned away from this our nation, founded by You in these latter times to be a Sanctuary for those seeking You. Do not let us be trodden down. Restore our nation and people to the purpose for which You created us in the Wilderness on the this side of the earth to keep your people safe during the Wrath and deliver them to you upon your return. Have mercy on us for the sake of Your Name and those within our country who seek Your Will and desire Your Kingdom on earth above all else. Have mercy on us for Your Will’s sake alone, because we are not deserving, but rely totally on Your Mercy, LORD.

      Hear our prayer, reaching out…..seeking Your Everlasting Sustaining Strong Hand. Forgive us Lord and supply what You know we need to overcome the situations we will find ourselves in so that we can endure until Your return. Grasp our outreached hand within Yours and restore us quickly before the dark consumes our land. Save us for Your purpose, and grow Your Truth in all peoples and nations, especially Israel. Pull us to our feet so that we can be a worthy friend of Israel in these latter times.

      In the Name of Jesus Christ, Our Savior, and returning King of Kings, we, who have the testimony of Jesus Christ, Your Son, ask of You these things; giving You all of the love within our hearts. Thank You, Father.

      Amen

  2. rejection, that people won’t like me, wanting to be liked by all, not popular, but to be accepted by my peers.

    • I hear you, Ken. I struggle with this, too. Here’s the problem this fear creates:

      1. It’s hard to really follow Jesus because eventually people will misunderstand your intentions or actions—even those closest to you. Following Jesus means occasional alienation.
      2. Nothing creates allies like having a common enemy. Occasionally we’re bullies because we find solidarity in hating all the same people. Our need to fit in often puts us in a position to act in a way that’s contrary to Christ’s desire.
  3. Reblogged this on A Closer Look and commented:
    Halloween is the perfect day to talk about fear.

  4. “While I don’t embrace a theology that makes God the author of the bad things we experience, I do believe that he excels in turning our defeats, sorrows, and disappointments into amazing victories and opportunities to display his glory.”

    One of the best pieces of wisdom I’ve read in print all week. Thanks Jayson, for another thought-provoking post. Good stuff to chew on here!

  5. Your post reminded of the famous Martin Luther quote:
    ‘Be a sinner and sin boldly, but believe and rejoice in Christ even more boldly.”

    To answer your question: Sin.

    As if to say we can somehow be righteous, and we are disappointed, depressed and surprised when the we are proven to be otherwise.

  6. True. All these things I fear, but shouldn’t! Uggh, all these blogs I have been reading today really show me I am gonna have a loong hard life ahead of me. :(. I am even more exhausted with this hard life and my sins and my silly fears than usual. Wish everything was easy and cookie-cutter.

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