Practice: Saying No to Fear.

Do you know what kinds of things your fear is keeping you from?

Ever since I began to work for profit as an artist, I've wanted to find a way to donate a percentage of my proceeds to a non-profit organization.  It is a small philanthropic gesture, but one that I feel I am capable of making.  Furthermore, it is a reflection of my belief that God has given me the opportunity to work in this capacity, and thus I want to use it in a way that is redemptive + honoring to Him.

As with most things, though, I have found myself immobilized by fear.  Yes -- I am very adept at finding ways to have fears about something that isn't even scary!

Well, but it isn't the thing itself that is scary.  It's the thing beneath the not-scary thing that is scary.  Or, as my dad has always said, "the problem is not the problem".  There are layers, and there is more than meets the eye.  Always.  

So, what is the scary thing lurking underneath the not-scary thing?  

I feel like I need to pick one organization to commit to for all of time.  I've also worried about being too inconsistent with it, not knowing what process to follow, or what percentage to give.  Deeper still: what if no one buys anything from me in the first place?  What if no one wants the things I work to put into the world?  If my work is not valued, that must mean that I myself am not valued.

And the spiral goes downward from there.  This is the fear of failure, my friends.  It has often taken me down, blind + cold.

As I'm writing this, it feels so absurd that I could let these minute, selfish things keep me from doing something I want to do, that I know is helpful + good.

When you peel back the layers, though, revealing a perceived assault on the deep-seated issue of identity -- it is no wonder to recoil in fear.  To stay out of the line of fire, safe, and perhaps with unmet desires, but not crushed.

I must not let the fear of wounding my identity stop me from doing what I know is good. 

That is no way to live.  And the truth, that I know deep down, is that my identity is safe in Christ, or as 1 Corinthians 6:17 says, "but whoever is united with the Lord is one with him in spirit."  It is not a question of wholeness, not in this case, or ever.  My identity is not in the mortal danger I perceive it to be, after all.  I am already whole, and have been given "not a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and a sound mind." (2 Timothy 1:7)

This may not be your battle, and that's okay.  I am always amazed by people who never seem to become entangled in fear, because this has been my fight, every day, since day one.  If it is you, though, I hope you will practice saying no to fear with me, and see how freeing it can be.