A very special guest post written by my very talented husband, Shawn.
Self-doubt is the biggest enemy we have not only as humans, but as Christians. We doubt the abilities God gave us, even if He is the one prodding us to move forward with something that is on our hearts. It’s a vicious cycle too. I get a tug in my heart to do something, and I start to look into it, and then, next thing I know, I suddenly start doubting my ability or my skill to handle the task. We all do it, and we all watch others do it. Allow me to use both me and my wife as examples.
Let me start with Kelly. For weeks she has been getting the “God nudge” to help out with the Pflugerville Pregnancy Resource Center. Friends have told her to get involved, I have told her to get involved, and God has continued nudging her. She finally printed off the application with the intent to fill it out. It’s been sitting on the printer for two weeks. Finally, someone tracked down Kelly’s email and reached out to her. God wasn’t going to let this go.
Let me first say, I don’t judge my wife. I have the same problem. I have been thinking about helping out with a local senior citizens center, and leading their Bible study a couple times a month. Calling them has been on my to-do list for about a week and a half. The reason? Self doubt. I began to question whether or not I was a good enough speaker, or knew enough about the Bible, or if I had time, and on and on and on. The excuses lined up, I got “busy” and didn’t call. Recently, another couple stepped up to help, and I was made the contact person to start figuring this out for all of us. God didn’t give me a choice either. Now there were other people involved.
Kelly and I both ran out of excuses. We weren’t necessarily hiding from the tasks, we just weren’t actively pursuing something we felt we should be doing. We were both stuck in the cycle of self-doubt.
For me, personally, I fear not being a good enough speaker or teacher. I fear that what I would say wouldn’t make a difference or I would get asked not to come back. I constantly wonder if there’s someone else better than me to do the job. I am then reminded of Isaiah 54:4, which says “Do not be afraid; you will not suffer shame. Do not fear disgrace; you will not be humiliated.” God’s promise of protection against my fear.
In these situations, Kelly and I are BOTH being called to love people, not fear them, and certainly not fear ourselves. 1 John 4:18 says “There is no fear in love.”
So here is the question: If we are doing things to love people, why are we afraid?
The answer: The enemy does not want us to love others and he is creating fear within us. He wants us to protect ourselves from sharing God with others, and potentially allowing them to grow closer to Him.
Paul took the time in the second book of Timothy to remind us that “God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self discipline.” (2 Timothy 1:7) This is not the only time in scripture that God reminds us to have courage. He tells it to Joshua, David reminds us of it in Psalms, and the prophet Isaiah also talks of not having fear. The Bible is full of moments where we are reminded NOT to fear. Personally, I find that reassuring. The God of the universe, knowing that I have fear, says He is there to protect me despite my fear. He reminds me that because of his death and resurrection, He has given me HIS spirit. He has given me HIS power and love.
The knowledge of His power and love are very reassuring as we both have taken steps towards the places God has opened up for us to serve. The fear won’t just go away, but I do know that I have the spirit of God to combat the fear, and give confidence that I am there to accomplish his will.
What is God calling you to? Maybe there are things that He has put on your heart to do, but haven’t taken the step towards them for the same reason Kelly and I didn’t. I just want to tell you it’s ok. Fear can be crippling. It can cause you to stop dead in your tracks. It does not, however, mean that you give up because of fear. Keep pushing forward and run the race marked out for you.
Praying that the God of strength and courage touches your heart today and you can overcome the fear and embrace the spirit of power and love.
© Kelly Sundsvold and kellysundsvold.com, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Kelly Sundsvold and kellysundsvold.com with appropriate and specific direction to the original content