When I was in elementary school, I rarely went to church. Occasionally I would go with my grandmother to get her off of my back because she invited me almost every Sunday. I would go, stand during worship, draw on scrap paper during the sermon, look down and draw during prayers, go home and continue on as if nothing had happened.
There was one time each year, however, that I got really excited about going to church. I absolutely loved Vacation Bible School. I would get to hang out with many of my friends from school that I did not see much in the summer, play games, and enjoy some delicious snacks. Good times had by all.
However, I remember one year that it was absolutely ruined right off the bat. We sat down to do a lesson on the first day, and the teacher asked if anybody could name the writers of the gospels. Since I did not attend church often, and I rarely listened when I did go, I had no idea what a gospel was. However, there was a young man beside me that said, “Oh, that’s easy: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.” Instantly, my VBS balloon was deflated.
Due to my own lack of Biblical knowledge, the confidence of another kid caused a degree of fear in me that paralyzed me for the rest of the week. The words "that's easy" made me feel like I did not belong, and I had no business pretending as if I did. If there was ever a chance I would learn more about God, it was negated by the hollow shell of fear that I crawled into.
I would love to say, “Hey, I was a kid. Of course I was intimidated. I would never react that way now that I am an adult.” However, that would not be completely accurate. I cannot tell you how many issues I have wanted to write about on this blog, only to talk myself out of it because I am not an expert. Because of fear, I have chosen to hold back ideas that I feel are relevant.
Because I do not have a seminary degree, I do not feel qualified to discuss deep spiritual issues. At least that is the lie that I keep telling myself. There are several of individuals that I consider to be spiritual mentors that sometimes comment on my posts. Each time they do, I end up freaking out and trying to make sure I did not write anything that was completely sacrilegious on that particular post. The fear that they may lose respect for me consumes me.
Fear leads us to believe that our experiences with God, our personal testimonies about our faith, are not good enough. Fear leads us to keep our mouths shut, even when we feel led to share. Fear tells us that without this or without that, we are nothing. Fear is a liar.
“Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith, and in purity.” (1Tim. 4:12 NIV)