Janice Boekhoff

Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe.

Proverbs 29:25

My son, at third grade, has finally reached the point where he realizes mistakes are something to avoid (yes, this lesson had to be learned the hard way many times before it stuck). But this has led to a phenomenon I wasn’t prepared to deal with in my strong-willed hard-driving boy—paralyzing fear.

Of course, this fear doesn’t manifest itself when I’m giving a well-earned lecture. Instead, it has shown up on the basketball court. He gets out there and suddenly is afraid to do the wrong thing, so he does very little or nothing at all.

We’ve always been more concerned with him having a good attitude toward the coaches and other players, so we have never pressured him to perform. In fact, we’ve spent the last few weeks trying to convince him it’s okay to make mistakes, but this is a hard concept.

Many of us can nod our heads and agree that it’s okay to make mistakes, especially for our kids. But what about when it comes to us?

We’re adults. We should have it all figured out, right?

And yet, some of us aren’t following our God-given callings because of our own fears. Oh, we can be rational about it, saying we don’t have enough time or money to do what God is asking. But if God is calling us, He will provide the way.

If you’re trying to follow God’s will, you don’t have to be afraid to make a mistake. Even if you accidentally take the wrong path, God’s been known to find a four-wheeler and take you off-road in the right direction.

On the other hand, be very afraid to make a mistake by listening to fear and doubt. God will not go down the road of fear with you because faith and fear don’t travel together. Every time you start to say “I’m afraid…” or “I worry about…,” ask yourself what you’re really afraid of and why you think God doesn’t have that figured out.

Dear Father, help us to err on the side of faith. Do not let fear overtake us. Let us be so attuned to Your voice that moving outside Your will is what scares us. In Jesus’s name, amen.

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