By Karin McBride-Chenoweth
‘Then Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?”’
Man believes that seeing is believing. However, Jesus taught us that believing is seeing. God is perfect. Man feeds upon fear and uncertainty. However, the Bible tells us that God is love; therefore, perfect love casts out fear.
Fear can be an issue for any budding Christian artist to overcome. Publishing or showing your work, in the public domain or even to family, can be a daunting task for anyone. However, you need to ask yourself one thing: Is this real ‘fear’ or your dread of rejection? Sometimes, the fear can stop you from using your gifts properly and freely.
Now, let’s be certain about one thing here. Fear is a very real emotion, but there is a major difference between being ‘struck’ by fear and being fearful. Worry and other negative emotions can also appear to be fear at work. The mind is very powerful tool and can fool you into thinking that your very survival is at risk. It is the root of a lot of problems. I know, because I have battled it constantly for years! I come from a long line of worriers, not warriors! If there was a PhD in worry, I would have passed mine with flying colours a long time ago!
I often describe fear like this: If faith is the substance of things hoped for and evidence of things not yet seen, then fear is the complete opposite. Fear is the substance of things not hoped for or desired, and it paralyses the present. If allowed to continue, fear will decapitate your future. You can become locked in past illogical fears and worries. If that happens, then it becomes almost impossible to create anything new using your full potential. You are basically a stuck spirit!
So, what is the difference between the fear that paralyses us and the fear of God? Yep, I know. This one used to have me having ‘open air’ debates with myself and God for hours. Well, quite simply, one is bad and one is good! Just like control. We have bad control and good control. Think of the fruit on the trees that Jesus spoke about:
‘Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit.A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit.’ Matthew 7:17-18
Therefore, if you are apprehensive about something, you must discern if the fruit is good or bad. All human beings have a basic ‘fear’, an instinct which can save your life in an abnormal, emergency event . . . so that’s good! However, the fear that I am talking about is the one that starts off as a seed of worry and then escalates, long after the event. It continues for no apparent reason, and it keeps stopping you from achieving your goals, having relationships, ‘winning the game’ or being creative. For instance, if I wasn’t worrying, I would worry because I wasn’t worrying!! Seriously, my entire day revolved around issues and events that might happen but, more often than not, didn’t.
Once you identify that it might be fear at the bottom of all this reluctance to utilise your gift, you must examine the fruit to make sure. Perhaps you have high blood pressure, nervousness, agitation, anger and worry. You are now in a position to declare that it all is bad fruit. A godly fear, on the other hand is different—very different. The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom. It leads down a very different path. There are boundaries filled with love, hope and the fearful awe of God. We can see clearly His greatness at what He can achieve in our lives, and guess what? It’s ALL good. Very good.
This is just one example of the spectrum of emotions rooted in fear. Finally, what do we do with a bad tree? We cut it down and uproot it!
This article was written by Karin McBride-Chenoweth