FEAR: Are You AFRAID to Use Your Gifts and Talents?

This past Sunday my Pastor pointed out something very interesting.

In acknowledging the 10th anniversary of the September 11th attacks, he pointed out that America, a nation of people known for their boldness, courage and resolve for centuries, has for the last 10 years been injected with a spirit of fear when you look at the terrorist attacks as well as the recession.

“Fear is  having CONFIDENCE in a NEGATIVE result.” -Apostle Ron Carpenter

People, including those of us with creative callings on our lives, are surrounded by a mindset of fear and caution in this nation like never before. Gifted, talented people who have the ability to make a difference in the lives of others are second guessing their dreams and are having doubts about their goals. Once a nation of radical risk takers, now a nation of creative people remaining in their comfort zone. “I’m not as talented as _______”, “My work is not good enough…”, “I’m not educated enough…” “Who would actually pay for something I made?” Heard these before?

God Saw This Coming:

Notice how the following passage of scripture speaks to the stirring up of your gifts IMMEDIATELY followed by speaking to your fears:

“Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:6-7

This makes us mindful that although God empowers you with gifts, talents and abilities, fear can set in and prevent those gifts from fulfilling purpose.

My Pastor pointed out yet another example. Once God revealed to Joshua the mission He had for his life (leading the Israelites into the promised land), God IMMEDIATELY tells him not to be afraid (“…Now therefore arise, go over this Jordan…Be strong and of good courage…) See: Joshua 1:1-9

So, how do YOU handle the spirit of fear especially when it paralyzes your gifts and talent? Post a comment:

Or if fear has gotten the best of you, tell us about that as well so we can help:

10 thoughts

  1. I stumbled upon this site while reading a bible scripture, and right now I am praising and thanking God. I am a published writer that have been putting everything off out of fear. No more!

  2. Very good post and true. I mourn for what’s been happening to the USA for years now.
    As a long time history buff I am amazed at how far our country has fallen and let itself fall. Art, inventions, lots of exporting of quality made goods of all kinds we don’t don’t do these things as much ,or at all, like we used to. We’ve become a bunch of consumers and not much original creating/creations/invention is getting done. I’ve noticed the past couple of years that it’s an “in” trend to apologize for being an American. During WWII one of Hitler’s war tactics in breaking a country was propaganda and going after a country’s sense of pride and safety. By the time Hitler’s armies were ready to march in and take over there wasn’t much resitance because the country’s pride/ spirit was broken. France was a good example. And when I see people apologizing for being American I only see an open door for destruction. This also ties to a lack of trying on our part to be as great a country as we used to be, one that the world came to for help, ideas, etc. and not the other way around. Our country is bound by fear because we don’t know our history, there was a disconnect somewhere. That and my generation, unfortunately titled “X”, and Y and whatever else you call them did and do not like to read books, especially history books. If we don’ t learn from the past we’re doomed to repeat it as the saying goes.

    Oddly enough I discovered my talent with pastel painting the weekend before 9/11. I do not believe this was a coincidence. I know God’s timing was perfect and I decided that my work though often born out of frustration would look cheerful and carry a message of hope and gentle correction/compassion.

    But I’ve struggled with fear for so long and some of the things are what you mentioned in your post. The biggest ones for me are ” I’m not good enough.” tied with ” I don’t have the proper education so I’m not worthy of being an artist.”. The way I handle this, when I’m not busy agreeing with those negative thoughts, is that I hop back on the horse and keep drawing/sketching/painting. I continue in the face of spiritual opposition. And, of course I pray a lot and ask the Lord for help a lot. Keep on keeping on is the best way to respond to fear.

  3. To be honest with…I think the trick is not to handle the fear, but make sure the fear doesn’t handle you.
    Paul encouraged Timothy to focus on the gift opposed from the thing that cripples it.
    Paul reminded Timothy of his ministry, his spiritual heritage, and more importantly…his God-given grace to work out what has been put in.
    I think I read this post, at least, four times and every time, I never saw “fear” as my issue. It wasn’t until now that I realized that a lack of zeal or drive seems to be my mountain, right now.
    I feel tired.
    Paul’s solution to Timothy’s fear was for him to “stir up” or rekindle the gift, so clearly the gift can be subject to stagnation every now and again.
    Paul encourages Timothy to “share in the suffering”…don’t run away from conflict, run towards it with the strength of grace that is in Christ Jesus. I believe I’m tired because I have been charging this struggle to my account and not God’s.
    I need to roll this out, because I often feel fatigued in moving forward…especially with art, but I’m finding that faith is in the conflict…so I endure.
    Whether I help change the world or my local community through what God has given me…I have found God to be in the conflict, so no matter what…I must keep stirring up the gift.

  4. “Fear is having confidence in a negative result.” Wow. This has to be one of my new favorite quotes.
    This post reminds me of the one about using your artistic talent as a weapon against the enemy. The spirit of fear that fills us with doubt and uncertainty is a direct attack from Satan and his cohorts. Having confidence that this attack will destroy is surrender, but if we have the true heart of Christ we realize that we are “struck down but not destroyed.”
    Thank you for the post. I’ve been thinking about this topic for a while, so it was good to finally hear your thoughts on it.
    God bless Tony!

  5. I have realized that I actually HAVE been afraid to get a platform to use my gifts and talents in my corporate career. The thought that crosses my mind is, “What if you can’t do it again?”, or, “What if you aren’t as good as they think you are?”

    Here is how I continue to overcome that: It is not me doing it, anyway. It is God who works in me both to will, and to do of His good pleasure. If He gave you the vision for it, He has anointed you to see it through in the way that He has planned. The thing that doesn’t change is the vision. You have to change your perspective. Have faith that when it is time to sling the rock, that it is not your arm that is going to put it square in the giant’s head. It is God’s power!

    Devin

  6. This is a great article. What’s help me through the years, is keeping good inner circle of friends who provide good feedback and encouragement. In other-words, speaking Faith to your self and others around you speaking the same.

  7. Wow is right! I have been trying to start a comic book project for months. I have been in a spiritual battle, but I think a small – maybe not so small – part of it is fear of beginning. Sayingthings like, “What if I’m not good enough”.

  8. @Nelson-

    Yes, I’ve heard those statements over and over because I’ve said them MYSELF. I still occassionally have to speak Faith to those same thoughts of fear to quiet them.

    Thanks for chiming in, Brother!

  9. Wow, this is awesome. I found myself thinking these things last week. “I’m not as talented as *****”, “My work is not good enough…”, “I’m not educated enough…” “Who would actually pay for something I made?

    Thank you for the encouraging words. After Apostles teaching, I have begun to shift in my confessions from fear to faith!

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