This past weekend I received a challenge that I would like to share. I was visiting my in-laws and attending their church when the pastor said something that really struck me. She said that we are addicted to fear, and addiction “is just another word for idol.”
I mean wow. That just floored me. I am addicted to my fears and my fear has become an idol. But that’s also a really apt description of our earthly fears. I mean think about it.
We go out of our way for our fears. We offer our fears control of our lives that we don’t always offer to God. We sacrifice money, time, and effort because of our fears. She’s right! The nastiest four letter word that starts with “F” is ultimately an idol.
So the pastor challenged me (well the entire congregation but it felt like she was pointing a finger at me on Sunday morning) “What do you fear, and why can’t you give it up?”
So here’s my answer.
I fear that I’m not good enough.
I’m not good enough for God to use me, I’m not good enough for my wife to love me. I fear that I’m not a good enough friend and that people won’t like me. I’m afraid that I’m not a good enough man. I’m afraid that I’m not a good enough son, and the day is quick approaching that I’ve started worrying about whether or not I’ll be a good enough father.
Now note the second part of her question: “why can’t you give it up?” Not “why do you fear it?” After all fear is so often irrational with no basis in reality that there’s no point in asking “why do you feel that way?” But I have to say, I have no idea why I hold onto it.
My own answer, after really thinking and praying about it, is that I have always identified myself according to this fear. I have acted based on this fear, on this fear of “not good enough” to always be better. My desire to be Christ like and my drive to do things well is out of a fear that I will be judged wanting. If the driving force in my life is suddenly removed, how will I live? How will I act? And here’s the great snare of fear.
If I give up my fear and ask God to be the driving force in my life, what happens if I’m not good enough for Him to do that?
Part III of the challenge: give it up anyways.