Thursday, January 13, 2011

Facing Fear Fearlessly

I’m the world’s worst procrastinator. Every once in awhile, someone challenges me on this and walks away defeated. Another personality flaw I have is fear: fear of hurting or offending others, fear of what others might think, fear of how others might act, fear of rejection, fear of saying the wrong thing, fear of looking like an idiot, fear of failure, etc. Put these two together, and I have a tendency to avoid interacting with people as long as possible to put off the expected suffering. Needless to say, procrastinating often makes things worse.

Why do I fear other people? In most cases, they aren’t in a position to cause me any serious pain or suffering. However, I place a high value on others thinking well of me. When I sense that my reputation with someone might change for the worse, it saddens me. Over the years, that has happen more times than I can count or that I’d care to remember if I could.

People have told me that it shouldn’t matter what others think about me, but I don’t believe my concern for my reputation is unfounded. God has been concerned about His reputation. Paul was concerned about how unbelievers perceived church elders and married Christian women. However, there certainly must be a line drawn somewhere between attention to potential problems and paranoia about them. The latter is absolutely stifling. And the more I hesitate to face the unknown at present, the more I feel unprepared to face an increasingly more difficult, unknown future.