the crippling power of fear

A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing. –George Bernard Shaw

Nothing can cripple a person like fear of failure. When I played basketball in high school, I never lived up to my potential because I was scared of messing up. My thought was that playing it safe and not screwing up would keep me off the bench. Problem is, that way of thinking worked against me as I rarely took risks to do things that would show what I was capable of. So I found myself on the bench more than on the court. Funny thing is that I usually shined in pickup games because I played as if I had nothing to lose…which I didn’t.

Do you live your life like this? Have you caused yourself to be benched in your career, your marriage, or even your spiritual life? Being divorced, I fully admit I am terrified of going through that nightmare again. This fear could lead me to never putting myself out there again, to find love and a lifetime of sharing and enjoying every day with someone I care about. Yet, I choose to put myself out there because the risk of failure is no longer my focus. I choose to trust again, to love again…to live. This doesn’t come from within me, however, but rather from the knowledge and experience that the one and only great God of the universe will make all things work together for my good (Romans 8:28). Let me clarify that I increasingly realize that my idea of “my good” and God’s idea are completely different…and I’m ok with that!

So what is keeping you on the sidelines? What is preventing you from stepping into the plans that God has for you? Jeremiah 29:11 affirms that God is for us. “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for wholeness and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” God truly is for you! Draw courage from this. If you seek him first, He’ll lead you and will correct your path when you stray. Just keep fixing your eyes on Him!

George Bernard Shaw’s quote couldn’t ring more true. “A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing.” Don’t let the crippling power of fear win over you. Step out over the threshold and embrace the brilliant, guiding hand of the Father.

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