I’ve been thinking about fear lately. Some people seem to be naturally fearless. I’m simply not one of them. As a child I had many fears, some grounded in reality and some completely irrational ones.
I battled a fear of heights for years which made many things a challenge. In spite of my love for swimming, jumping off a high dive was just not going to happen. Flying was an even bigger hurdle. The first time I flew in a plane I was 13 and thankfully it was a very brief experience. I went to the airfield for that homeschool field trip not knowing if I would actually be able to get in the plane. But by God’s grace I did. 17 years later I fly without hesitation, but still get a bit rattled by landings.
As as I teenager I memorized 2 Timothy 1:7, “for God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” I would cling to it and recite it whenever I had to overcome my fear. As an adult the fears that I struggle with the most are those of failure or rejection.
The Bible has much to say on the subject of fear. My Bible study software turns up 385 mentions of the word in the KJV. The scriptures tell us not to fear what man can do to us, but rather to fear God (Matthew 10:28), Moses tells the people before they cross over Jordan not to fear the people in that land, because the Lord was with the Israelites and He would not fail or forsake them. Over and over again, we’re told not to fear men, death or the circumstances in our lives.
In contrast, fearing God is seen as a righteous thing. Leviticus is full of commands to fear God and Psalm 19 says that “ The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring for ever.” Psalm 33:8 also says, “ Let all the earth fear the Lord: let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him.” There are many other references, but I think you get the idea.
If you read the title of this post you may be wondering what any of this has to do with blogging. My recent contemplation of fear was spurred on by a post about blogging by Kate Conner (a great blogger and a friend from college).
Blogging, or writing that will be read by others in any form can be a terrifying thing to do. I love the way my roommate describes that fear. She says that writing for the public is like standing on a stage, stark naked, in front of your high school crush. Yeah, it can produce that much anxiety.
Kate Conner was advising would be bloggers to be fearless. In an excerpt on her site about blog content, from a Blogging 101 piece she had written, she had this to say:
3. Don’t be afraid. This is huger than huge. This is what sets great bloggers apart from the sea of millions and millions of so-so mommy bloggers. SAY THINGS THAT OTHER PEOPLE ARE AFRAID TO SAY.
You will have a natural inclination to clarify, quantify, mitigate, or weaken your statements because you don’t want to be misunderstood. Fight that. Make your statements as strong as you possibly can.
I admit, this is the biggest hurdle I face when writing, but with God’s help I want a proper perspective on fear. I want not to fear men, especially the ones who leave nasty comments that sting and sometimes cause me to doubt my convictions or understanding of an issue. But I do want to always fear Him and strive for integrity and biblical accuracy. I might make mistakes and when that happens I hope my readers will point that out in love, and that God will give me the humility and wisdom to take correction. But when an issue is clear as crystal, I want to be fearless.