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  • July 11, 2014 - Reflections

    By Jean S. Horner
    The other day while walking down a corridor in a public building, I saw what appeared to be someone walking toward me. On coming closer, I found it was my own reflection in a huge mirror. For a moment it frightened me. Somehow a full-length reflection of one’s self is a startling thing. ...


Daily Boost

February 12, 2013 - Fear Is Costly

By Rose McCormick Brandon

E. Stanley Jones makes the point that Christians are people of the long view. By long view, he means we plan not only how to live today, but tomorrow and for eternity. Our big enemy in long-view planning is fear. Fear, at its worst, immobilizes; but it shouldn’t immobilize people who believe in their deepest hearts that Jesus reigns over all the earth.

When I think of times I’ve hung back and not pursued opportunities, I know the reason: fear. A number of years ago, a large city church asked me to come on staff. I wanted to. My mind was full of ideas for the position.

What stopped me? I feared leaving my comfort zone. I doubted my abilities even though I had years of ministry experience. I should have jumped in and figured out how to swim later, but I wanted future plans laid out for me before I jumped. Fear paralyzed me and, to my regret, I turned down a good opportunity.

I’m over being upset with myself about missing out on a good opportunity for service but I learned a lesson that has stuck with me: fear is costly.

People who trust in God don’t operate in fear. Our mission of spreading the gospel calls us to put our trust and faith in His abilities and not in our own inadequacies. We must live with confidence that God has gifted us with both spiritual and natural gifts. Spiritual gifts help us serve Him and minister to others. Natural gifts help us make money to support our families.

Fear kills spiritual and natural gifts. It wrecks long-view plans. It makes us imagine nonexistent enemies, and causes paranoia. Fear stuffs useful people with useful ideas into small confining boxes where their usefulness is wasted.

God hasn’t called Christians to small-box living. This fact is evident from the New Testament, which brims with stories of ordinary people who got out of their small boxes and did extraordinary things for God.

Fear is costly, to believers personally and to the Kingdom. Paul wrote these words to Timothy:

"For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline" (2 Timothy 1:7, NIV).

Is fear paralyzing you? Take a deep breath of faith, step out of your box, and make plans not only for today, but for tomorrow and eternity. Consider this prayer:

"Father, I know that fear is costly, but I’m finding it difficult to trust in You as I should. Help me to step out of my comfort zone and use both my natural and spiritual gifts as you intended me to."

— Rose McCormick Brandon and her husband, Doug, live in Caledonia, Ontario.



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