Native Venezuelan and current New York resident, Michelle Poler has created a life challenge for herself all because of a required art project. Poler’s challenge-Live 100 days without fear. No, she has not used the project to overcome the typical bungee jumping or parachuting, fears but rather she has chosen to try and conquer the everyday fears including public speaking, donating blood, and holding a tarantula.
“Trying to control New York has been a nightmare, but what really pushed me to pursue this project was not the controlled lifestyle I left behind, it is the frustration of not enjoying this city and life in general to the fullest.” (Poler) Pushing herself outside of her comfort zone has given her a new found freedom to “break free from a limited lifestyle and start having real experiences that will lead to real results” (Poler).
What an amazing experience to be able to set aside your fear in order to accomplish what may seem impossible. As Christians, we are called to “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15), but many a Christian becomes hindered from sharing God’s word all because of the power of a four-letter word- FEAR!
Living in a culture that rejects those who go against the normalcies of man, we can become intimidated to share the Gospel and God’s love to others. Here are two common fears and ways to overcome them in order for the love of Christ to be known.
Fear to look weird: The American culture is all about letting people be free to be who they are. Whether it’s dying your hair neon green, filling your body with piercings, or decorating yourself with tattoos, are all acceptable within our culture. Basically anyone who wants to look or act weird is accepted on the outskirts of society except for those who are followers of Christ. The moment we begin to discuss Jesus, the windows and doors to those who don’t know him begin to close. When this happens, our fear of standing out may start to climax causing us to doubt why we even tried sharing in the first place. Remember that the people are believing we are weird because they do not understand God’s message. “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God” (1 Corinthians 1:18). Although our passion for Jesus may seem freakish to others, to God views our passion as normal.
Fear to defend the Gospel: One of the most common fears when sharing the Gospel is that we may not be able to answer someone’s question because we don’t know the answer ourselves. We can first prepare for those times by seeking out and studying His word. Through our studies, we are able to gain confidence and better understand who God is. Also, ask God for the wisdom to answer their question. When you call upon the Lord, he is quick to place a verse or a valid response in your mind to better answer their question. Finally, if you truly cannot answer be honest with them and then let them know that you will find an answer, then be sure to follow through with your response.
Fear of rejection: Sometimes our fear lies within being rejected. At times, people may not be in a place to hear God’s truths, but keep in mind that it is not you that is being reject, but God and His God’s message. We are only called to deliver the message and allow God to do the rest.
If fear is keeping you from sharing God’s word, remember, ”God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. (2 Tim 1:7)” so that we may and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear; “ (1 Peter 3:15)
Just like Michelle Poler, are you up for a challenge that will change your life?