Confessing My Fears

The Bible tells us we need not fear evil. (Psalm 23.) We are also assured that we are not failures but victors in Jesus. (1 John 4:4-5.) But I don’t know that we are ever told not to fear failure. Perhaps because we might end up like this:

So perhaps the important thing is how we get over our fear of failure. Do we do it in our own power – I need to keep facing my fears until I beat them into submission – or do we rest in Jesus’ victory over all matters worth fearing?

I confess I still get caught up in my fears at times. I also confess that I am caught up in Jesus for all time.

What a blessed confession.

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10 Responses to Confessing My Fears

  1. Larus Press says:

    Jesus gave us the Holy Spirit so that we would walk in Spirit and in Truth, which supercedes our own efforts. Perfect love casts out all fear, so as you suggest, when we are ‘caught up’ in Jesus our fears are overcome. Nevertheless, from time to time, fear does come. Sometimes we fear failure, other times we fear success. The key is to surrender our control (it is only an illusion anyway) and to allow ourselves to be led of the Spirit in all we do. It is what Paul wrestled with, and so might we, but we can rest, assured God is in charge, has already won and any battles we must fight are for our character and to His glory. God bless. Love your posts – they keep us peeling away our layers!

  2. If I don’t fear a little, perhaps, I will not be proactive in my life and have the great privilege of trusting in His strength instead of my own folly. Yes the Christian life is joy and getting caught up in His strength, but at times we do wrestle with fear, pride, and of course sin.

  3. Tuija says:

    I think fear of failure can be a sin, when it separates us from God. If I feel the Holy Spirit prompting me to do something but I don’t do it because I fear I’m going to fail – then the fear has separated me from God: I feel the guilt of not obeying Him, and so I’m hesitant to approach Him. Been there, done that. (“Yes, I can see that that person looks lonely and needs someone to talk to – but I can’t go and talk to her. What if I say something stupid?” “Yes, I know that there’s this practical task I could do, and someone needs to do it – but what if I make a mess of it?”)

    I know that in Jesus, there is always the way forward: forgiveness, and perhaps even a second chance to face that particular fear of failure and to act despite feeling the fear. Not letting fear to stop me from doing what I know I should – that’s the victory of Jesus in me.

    And one way towards less fearing of failure – like in that cartoon – is to fail…. because then I find out that even despite my failure, God did not reject me totally, and even though failing did not feel good, it wasn’t as bad as I had feared. Failure happens, but it need not define me.

    Thanks for this topic, Tim. I’ve been facing the fear of failure for a few weeks now (to do with a particular responsibility), and I know I’m not conquering that fear in my own power.

    • Tim says:

      So true, Tuija, God does not reject us in our failures but is with us through them. I hope you are able to move forward in dealing with the responsibility that’s been weighing on you recently, and that you will receive God’s peace through it all.

  4. Jeannie says:

    As usual, Tim, you acknowledge the both/and aspect of life: yes, I fear; and yes, God has overcome everything that would cause me to fear. I was reading a lecture by Parker Palmer and he said almost the same thing: “I can ‘be not afraid’ even while I have fear.” I’m sure when Joseph and Mary (separately) heard those words from the angels, “Be not afraid,” they still felt those emotions of anxiety and fear. But they moved forward in trust.

    • Tim says:

      Being not afraid while still coping with our fears is one of the blessings of the Spirit, isn’t it? It’s as if Jesus were saying, “I know you’re afraid. Trust me still.”

  5. Laura Droege says:

    Isn’t it interesting that we use the same word for expressing both our sins and our faith? We confess our sins–acknowledging fear as a sin (or often a sin, at least)–and confess our faith–acknowledging that Christ is bigger than our fears, his grace is there even when we are full of fear, and that we are safe in him. (Which is pretty much what you said!) But I guess I’d never thought of that particular word in that particular light. (If I’m sounding a little loopy, it’s because I have a headache and decided to comment anyway.)

    • Tim says:

      I see confession in its root form as meaning “admit with“, so that I confess or speak with God about whatever is going on – sin, faith, praise and much more are all proper subjects of confession from what I can see.

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