talking is not the same as public speaking
I can talk. Alot. I once landed a job in communications because in the interview I made the board of women interviewing me laugh when I said “I can talk the hide off a cow!”
Really, talking has never been a problem. I have never met a stranger, and much to my family’s chagrin, I can talk to anyone about anything.I do not know how I ended up with two shy children and a shy husband, but I did. God is funny like that…
I have always loved the stage and playing a role or singing a song was never an issue, but speaking formally in public used to make my heart beat three times faster and my palms sweat like I had played in a water fountain right before. I would sweat and my breathing became erratic. Eye contact became something I avoided. My voice, which was usually clear and confident became quiet and shook.
I hated speaking in public because I was afraid. I was afraid of messing up. I was afraid of being judged. I was afraid of failing.
Fear is a tool of the enemy. Plain and simple. It is part of the broken condition of this world. Fear is the opposite of faith.
For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7 NKJV
What does fear do? Fear cripples us. It holds us back. It keeps us down. It quenches the passion in our bellies. It stops us in our tracks. It locks us in a prison of our own and keeps us from becoming who we are meant to be in Christ.
In Christ we are meant to be free. Jesus came to set us free for freedom’s sake. (Galatians 5:1) Fear stands in direct opposition to the purpose of Christ.
Why did I have such a strong fear of speaking in public? I believe it is because I am called to speak. The enemy is not stupid. He can see the gifts and talents God placed in us as easily as anyone else. He may not know all the plans God has for us, but he can clue into who we are quicker than we can.
Why do you think there are so many still “searching” for themselves at 30, 40, and 50? They are still searching because who they are meant to be has been obscured by fear.
I recently wrote an article in Venture Magazine about becoming who we are meant to be. The key to it all is letting go. We have to let go of our fears and let go of our pasts, and just hone in on who we are at the core of God’s design. There are three things I want to share with you to help you begin to let go of your junk and begin to hold onto God’s promises for yourself.
1. faith comes…
Fear is the opposite of faith, so the reverse is true too. Faith is the opposite of fear. When we grow in faith, we naturally begin to let go of our fears. Imagine you are visiting a national park and are standing on a cliff overlooking a beautiful valley below. Imagine something goes terribly wrong and you fall over the edge. By some miracle you land on a ledge twenty feet below. There is no way up. The ledge is so small you must use both hands to hold onto the side of the mountain. When rescue teams come by chopper, you must let go of the thing that you understand as safe and turn toward the unknown. You must let go of the cliff and turn toward your salvation. It takes faith. In that moment, faith overcomes fear.
2. love comes…
I am a child of divorce. By the time I was three I knew rejection. My parents were separating and on their way to a messy divorce and I not only felt responsible, I felt rejected. Since then rejection became a theme in my life. I was rejected by kids at school, I was rejected by my mother. I felt rejection everywhere I turned. Soon, rather than waiting for rejection to come to me, I began to wield rejection like a weapon. I rejected others before they could get around to rejecting me. I was afraid of rejection and no matter how I ran from it, it still ruled my life. Until I experienced love. Real love that is truly unconditional. The love of a Father who will never reject me. His love fills me, and completes me. It weaves together His plan with my life and out of His love comes freedom. There is nothing I can do that will ever make God love me less and there is nothing I can ever do that will make Him love me more. His love anchors me securely and shows me who I am.
The Inheritance (Message by Graham Cooke) (This song is amazing! Let the truth in it cement His love in you.)
3. experience comes…
Psalms 34:8 says “Taste and see the Lord God is good.” God even challenges us to “prove Him”. When you buy a car, you get in the car with the expectation that the car will start every time you turn the key. Experience tells you this is true. You have seen it over and over. Every turn of that key proves the car is a car. When we have a relationship with God, we are adopted into the family. Every time we see God’s faithfulness toward His kids, our experience proves He is good. How did I overcome my fear of public speaking? I practiced. I gained experience. Every time I spoke, I learned more about my skills, my passion, and my calling. I learned that God made me to speak. Experience told me I was made to speak. Experience began to chase away my fear.
no more fear
Fear cripples, but love heals. Fear binds, but Christ frees us. If you struggle with fear, I want to encourage you. You can be free. As you seek freedom, know this: you will have plenty of opportunity to be afraid, The enemy will come around roaring trying to steal your freedom and kill your hope. Resist him and he will flee. Once he sees you turn to love, and reach for faith, his hold on you will be broken. (James 4:7)
What is something you are afraid of? Leave your comment below.
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