How do your fears affect your ministry?

I have a friend who recently posted something she learned at a conference. It goes like this: 

“The very thing we fear the most is the very thing that we do to others in order to avoid it happening to us. If we fear rejection we reject others first, if we fear being controlled we will control others so that we will not be controlled, if we fear conflict we will avoid conflict at all costs and there by creating it, and if we fear of criticism we will criticize and judge others. If we fear being taken advantage of we exclude and alienate others making them feel alone and taken advantage of. The more we understand ourselves and those around us the more we can live in peace and be more productive with our lives.”

I believe this rings very true. How many items on that list sounds like you? I am sure you can think of a few people that meet this criteria, as well. And, if we think about it the list doesn’t stop there. If we think about what we fear the most when it comes to relationships then we often react in a way to prevent this coming true, and inadvertently we make the situation worse. In the therapy world there is a term called “self-fulfilling prophesy”. Basically it’s where we get so worried about something bad happening that based on our reactions to that fear we actually cause that bad thing to happen. Let’s say a woman is worried that the man she is dating is going to break up with her. She might constantly go to that man and ask, “do you really love me?”,  and “are you going to break up with me?” His answers could be “yes I love you and no I am not going to break up with you”, over and over again, until finally one day he can’t take her asking and accusing him any longer and he…breaks up with her! Then she turns and says. “see I knew you were going to break up with me!” In reality it was her behavior that caused the break up. If she would have just trusted him from the beginning then they possibly could have had a good, long-lasting healthy relationship. 

This fear, also knows as insecurity can creep up in many areas of our lives, not just in relationships. Think about the ministry that you are doing. Has there been times when you were so worried about failing, maybe failing God? Maybe failing your supporters? Maybe failing your family? Or those that you are ministering to? That you have allowed that insecurity, doubt, and fear to become a “self-fulfilling prophecy” that has actually caused failure in your ministry? Think about control. Is there something about your ministry where you were afraid of losing control, and therefore you have so much control that it’s causing lack of growth of those you are ministry to? What about criticism are you so afraid of being criticized that you are lacking in gaining insight as to how things could be better, smoother, stronger and more influential? What about conflict? Is there someone you need to have a heart to heart with, but by avoiding it, you are avoiding them and now the relationship is getting more strained? 

We see a few stories in the Bible where people were insecure. One such story is found in Exodus chapter 4:1-14. Moses was asked by God to free the Israelites. Even after God shows him many signs, lets him know that He will be there with him each step of the way, Moses still had doubts, insecurities, and questioned God. Through it all God still used Moses, with some help from his brother to talk Pharaoh into allowing the Israelites to leave Israel. 

God has big plans for you and for you ministry. But, it’s important to trust him. Step aside and let Him lead. Let him be your security. If your ministry is suffering, it could be because you are more concerned with doing what you think is best, instead of in trusting God, who knows what is best. Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own under standing; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.1. In what area are you feeling most insecure? 2. How is your insecurities/fears affecting your ministry? 3. What do you think would be different with you personally of you let go of your fears and insecurity? 4. Think about who you can contact to hold you accountable to not allow these fears/insecurities to cause problems for you, your relationships, and your ministry. 5. If your fears, doubts, insecurities are severe, causing depression or causing major problems in your ministry, please contact a professional therapist for support. 6. For further support contact Here2there ministries at: [email protected]

Christy Paul, LMHC

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