let your hearts near to what we are afraid to feel

earlier this week i got a text from a friend that said, “mcdee’s has $2 wraps today. wanna go?”

i’m fat.

it’s mcdonald’s.

of course i want to go.

we ended up sitting outside of mcdonald’s for over an hour talking and catching up, throwing out ministry ideas, asking questions, and really just hanging out. at one point, we got on the subject of writing and me having a blog. after talking about the concept of writing and why i do it, he asked me a question that on the surface was pretty simple, but was really packed with what i think many of us struggle with. he asked me if i ever worried that what i was writing wasn’t good enough, or that people would think that i’m wrong, or that they’d see me as not smart enough.

my answer to that was pretty simple because it’s a question i’ve thought about quite a bit. when it comes to writing, i don’t really worry about that. writing has always been my place to throw out my weird, irregular thoughts and observations on life. if i’m wrong, i’m wrong. if people don’t like it, they can choose not to read. it’s a pretty easy question for me to answer.

it’s a pretty easy question for me to answer when it comes to writing.

it’s incredibly hard for me to answer when it comes to anything else.

writing is where i feel comfortable. most places aren’t. i’m the guy that constantly worries that something i’m doing isn’t going to be up to par. that may be because i set incredibly high standards for myself, but i always worry that a graphic i made is going to look cheesy. or that the joke i told is going to be stupid. or that i’m just weird and awkward and people aren’t going to like me.

i overanalyze the most mundane of things to a point where i start noticing things that no one else in the world would notice.

i’d be willing to bet that you do the same thing. i don’t say that to condemn you but rather to say that we all do it. we all notice every single detail that we do and think that everyone else notices them to. the truth is that everyone is so absorbed with noticing their own details that they don’t have time to notice yours. while you’re walking away from a conversation thinking, “i hope he doesn’t think i’m weird for saying that…” i’m likely walking away thinking, “i really hope they don’t think i’m weird for saying that…”

we all fear what other people think about us.

unfortunately, many of us let that fear paralyze us and keep us from the amazing thing that god wants to do in us and through us.

one of the things i most enjoy about my job is getting to hear stories of how god is teaching people new and different things as they step out and say yes to the little things. our church is really big on sharing stories and getting them on video so that we can share them with as many people as possible.

yesterday i was able to preview a video from a girl named jessica who’s gotten really involved with our young adult ministry. through that, she has become a leader in our high school ministry and god is doing incredible things in her life. she talked about how she felt god calling her to different steps of obedience and to new things. in the video, there was one line that she said that really stuck out to me. she said:

i think sometimes we get intimidated because we think we aren’t enough or our stories aren’t cool enough but the fact is that god wants to use all of us.

that’s such an awesome quote because it’s so ridiculously true. we get scared that we aren’t good enough. we get scared we aren’t smart enough. we get scared thinking that we have too many flaws to make an impact. we over think the entire thing to the point that it paralyzes us and cripples us from doing anything.

the fact is that god wants to use all of us.

look through the bible. god uses the worst of the worst, the most messed up people, and the ones who had absolutely no place to be doing what they were doing. and yet, despite how messed up they were, despite how flawed they were, they still made an impact. they still were able to make a difference.

jon scuff has a saying that says, “punch fear in the face.” don’t let your fear keep you from doing something amazing. don’t let being scared of what people might think hold you back from what god is inviting you to. walk right up to that fear, punch it in the face, and then move forward.

our fear is the bully from elementary school.

once it gets bullied, it backs down.

the question now becomes if you’re willing to stand up to your fear or if you’re too scared to face it head on.

imagine a world where we all punched our fear in the face and said yes to the most simple thing god wanted us to do. what would happen if we put our self criticism aside? what would it look like if we trusted that god knew what he was doing when he invited us instead of questioning what he was thinking? how would our lives be different? how would our world be different?

i want to change the world.

i can’t do it alone.

i need the help of a generation that will stop worrying about what people think and realize that god wants to use all of us.

my promise is that i will do everything that i can to continually punch my fear in the face.

will you?

say your prayers and take your vitamins.

have a nice day.

-jonathan

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