by Kirk Walden, Advancement Specialist
Servants of Excellence
"I was with you in weakness and in fear and in much trembling." I Cor. 2:3
What is it in this work that makes you fearful? Is it standing in front of a group, presenting on behalf of the ministry? Is it sitting in front of an intimidating patient or client, wondering how to respond to a question or how to best speak to her heart?
The Bible has news for those of us who are fearful at times: It's okay.
People can intimidate us; situations can, too. These are both natural results that come from stepping out of our comfort zones and relying upon God. The Apostle Paul knew this feeling well. When he first approached the Corinthians, he admits, "I did not come to you with superiority of speech or of wisdom, proclaiming to you the testimony of God."
Instead, Paul tells them he wanted to put forth the simple message of the Gospel, and he did so "in weakness and in fear and in much trembling, and my message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, so that your faith would not rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God."
There is a major point in Paul's writings here: While we may be fearful at times, our willingness to press on with whatever God calls us to do has the ability to demonstrate God's power in and through each of us.
If we enter any bookstore we can find a plethora of books on self-confidence, or on how to effectively persuade others. This isn't to criticize these books; they certainly have their place.
But . . . sometimes it is perfectly within God's will to be fearful and perhaps tremble a bit, too. When we are fearful—and are willing to admit such as Paul did—our audience (whether one client or hundreds of people) can easily identify with us.
Paul had fears. But instead of letting those fears dictate his life, he decided to be open and honest about those fears so that he could press on with the message he was called to share.
If we are ever afraid in this life-saving work then, this is hardly a bad thing. In fact, our fears remind us that we share a special bond with one of the greatest apostles. And, we can take heart in the truth that our fear can be an avenue for showing the mighty power of God in each of us.