Two people really got me (Alex) started regarding the issue of fear. It started with my wife Laura’s blog on the subject. Then again it raised its head with our friend Clay Ginn’s blog at http://mezzamorphis.com/. Both Laura and Clay have been blessed with the talent of gifted writing skills. I, on the other hand, have been gifted with the talent of recognizing people with writing gifts.
I really thought about both of their blogs and the issues they elaborated on so well. I realized that I wasn’t afraid of physical man, speaking in public, beasts, or death. Instead, I feared the perceptions of old friends and acquaintances regarding my walk with Christ. This fear doesn’t surface with church friends, work associates, or people I have met within the last ten years. The fear exacerbates itself with old friends’ perceptions that have kept me a pretty private person over the years when it comes to sharing my walk.
For all of those who know me well, you’ll find my insight comical and long overdue. I have consoled myself many times over the years that I really didn’t care what people thought of me, as long as they had respect for me. I realized that I was probably just kidding myself.
My walk with Christ has grown greatly over the last five years or so. I contribute this mostly to God’s persistent pursuit through the words of great pastors, family and friends. He never gave up on me.
Some of you may identify with my situation. Some of you may think “good for you” but that’s not for me! Others might equate Christ as a “crutch for the weak”. To all of you, I would simply say, “We should talk”.
There have been times in the past when I heard about old friends that were having issues in life with alcohol, divorce, etc. My heart screamed out to help in some sort of way. To be able to describe the love of Christ and the difference he can make in one’s life is paramount. Christ’s ability to soften us, eradicate addictions, and heal the deepest wounds is more important today than ever. However, I used the excuse of what if my past hell-raising and poor decisions made could damage the work of God. In reality, I was just worried about the other person’s reaction to my message. I hated the idea of people talking behind my back saying, “Alex thinks he’s holy now”, or something similar.
I have come across many people who lived horrific lives and now walk with Christ first and foremost. Some of them were forced into their horrific situation; others lived lives of their own making. I had the pleasure of meeting one those people in Honduras. This person is now one of the brightest lights for Christ I have ever met.
For those of you that I failed to comfort, council, or share God’s abilities, I apologize deeply. I should have reached out as Christ and others did for me. If you find yourself in need of a friend to listen, I’m ready and willing to lend an ear…today, tomorrow and as long as God has me on this earth.