Sometimes I think too much. Dwell, actually. It’s a problem.
I’m sitting here in this coffee shop thinking about everything from “I hope so-and-so shows up again today, he’s hot” to “I really need to start writing my book, why can’t I seem to write anything today?” My mind has been running anxiously since the moment I got here. But what’s plaguing me the most right now is the thought that I’m ashamed.
Ashamed of what, you may ask?
Nah, that can’t be true. Did I really just read that? That must be a typo. Maybe I have a smudge on my screen.
You’re right, I’m not actually ashamed of God…am I? I mean, my actions say otherwise.
I was sitting in a coffee shop (go figure) a couple weeks ago having a really great devotional time. I started a new prayer book where I write down my prayers along with prayer requests for others that I daily go over. Plus I’ve been doing this great devotional study on shereadstruth.com that’s been real great. Needless to say, I was feeling #blessed.
Then a friend of mine from high school walked in. And I immediately got nervous, insecure, and suddenly aware of how big and white my bible was. I tried to calm myself down, saying “so what if he does see me reading the bible? I love the bible! Screw him, I’m going to keep reading”.
Then satan started whispering fears into my head. Oh Lottie, wouldn’t it be so embarrassing if he asked what you were reading? What would you say? You’re not confident enough for that. You don’t need that kind of stress. Just put it away and pretend you’re on your computer. That’s more acceptable.
You know what I did? I put it away! I packed my Bible and journal away, even took my headphones out, innocently telling myself I was doing it for him so he wouldn’t be in an awkward conversation.
But I didn’t really do it for him. I did it because I was scared.
Why do I do that? Why do I pack up when perfect opportunities to show Christ or witness to someone pops up? Am I actually ashamed? I pride this blog on being a voice for people, empowering them to be bold and courageous for Christ because the world needs believers who aren’t wishy-washy, but who are willing to stand up for the cause of spreading the Good News.
And yet I can’t even do that.
I took myself out of the game before it even started.
God has given me this perfect, amazing, testimony. With everything I’ve been through lately, how could I not just want to scream from the mountains about his goodness and faithfulness to me?! But it’s this fear that seemingly grasps my lungs and I can’t breath. It clouds my mind and stops me in my steps. It’s a demon that takes control of me for that moment in time.
- Fear tells me I can never speak in front of people about the testimony.
- Fear tells me I’ll be made fun of in front of the class if I give my opinion so I better not speak.
- Fear tells me not to talk to the person in the coffee shop about God (or let on at all that I’m a Christian) because I don’t want to make them hate me or feel uncomfortable.
- Fear tells me not to stand up for what I know is true because our world is against such truth and nobody wants to hear it.
- Fear tells me I don’t know enough about my religion to speak up in the first place.
Friends, let me tell you something (and I’m speaking to myself as I say this). Fear is not our master.
It doesn’t have to control us. We serve one master and his name is Jesus. We hold in our hands the truth that sets all hearts, minds and bodies free. This truth, that has set us free, can free our friends, coworkers, customers, neighbors, and kids. We do need to be bold and courageous, armed and ready with a reason for our faith, at all times! We need to always be on our guard for the sake of everyone around us. And we need to keep our focus on Him so that when times of fear and anxiety come, we’ll be ready to fight against it. Nothing can conquer us because God has already overcome it.
As believers, we don’t need to fear the world and its troubles. But if we don’t live lives that exude peace, joy and calm, then how will the world ever see it? It’s our jobs as Christians to bleed the Light. For others to see the fruit of our salvation. Knowing Christ means being able to live free. And if we refuse to live free, then how will they ever know?
Lord, I’m so sorry. I pray that fear will not make us ashamed of this Good News you have saved us and equipped us with. Make us bold and brave for you. You have overcome fear and it has no authority over us. We claim this in your name. Amen.
Love to you all,