I am, by no means, a writer. While I consume a sliver of cyberspace with this here blog, and have co-authored some projects, I barely consider myself a blogger, certainly not a writer.
I just love to write.
Writing allows me to externally process my life. Most of the things I write are chicken scratched thoughts on restaurant napkins, one line phrases recorded in Notepad on my iPhone, and countless lines of ineligible prayers in my journal. I write every day, but what keeps me from littering my thoughts across the literary community is the fear of being judged by my writing skills. Writing is my passion, but it’s also where my fear lies.
Fear says, “I’m no writer.”
Passion says, “Do it anyway!”
I am stuck at the intersection of Fear and Passion.
I can easily identify my weaknesses, and often excuse myself from being used by God due to whatever inability ails me. When it comes to writing, my fear of being a bad writer keeps me from sharing my passion. I begin to compare myself to others – “I’m not like [so-and-so] who is a fantastic writer!” – and fear stops me from publishing.
I’m sure I’m not the only one who struggles with Fear vs. Passion. After all, it’s a heck of a lot easier to identify my weakness than it is to point out my strength, especially when we play the comparison game – “I’m not like [so-and-so] who’s a spiritual warrior!” Fear keeps us from life, passion, and God’s goodness.
It’s easy to wade in the shallow end of a spiritual pool when you believe the lie that God doesn’t use the weak, He uses the strong.
Or, does He?
“That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” – 2 Cor. 12:10
“In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness…” – Rom. 8:26a
“If I must boast, I will boast of the things that show my weakness.” – 2 Cor. 11:30
“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.” – 2 Cor. 12:9
Okay, so it’s no surprise that Paul loved to talk about weakness. After all, he proclaimed himself to be one of the weakest spiritual leaders the New Testament church, yet God used him in such meaningful ways. Despite his failures, self conscious doubts, and fear, Paul went on to write half of the New Testament and become a catalyst for Christianity.
If we’re stuck between Passion and Fear, it’s definitely not God who’s putting us there.
How do we suppress our fears and tenaciously run after our passions?
Where do we start?
We start at the cross.
Christ demolished fear through His death and resurrection. “The Lord is my light and my salvation— whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life— of whom shall I be afraid?” – Ps. 27:1
The more I gaze into the eyes of a loving Savior and grow deeper in love with Him, the less fear has an impact on my soul. If my focus is on God’s plans and not my own, fear loses control and weakness becomes unidentifiable. When I’m spending time in the Word, worshipping in community, and being chiseled by fellow believers, something changes in my heart and I gain freedom. I get un-stuck from that place between Passion and Fear, and Love takes over. “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” – 1 John 4:18
There is such relaxing comfort in knowing that I don’t have to be an amazing writer, speaker, preacher, listener, or lover to be used by God.