Many people never move forward in life because they are stuck in the hurts of their past or bond by the fear of their future. National Institute for Mental Health reports that over 6.3 million Americans have been diagnosed with a phobia or fear. From this report, 60% of Americans fear things that will never happen. 30% of Americans fear things that had happened in the past and can’t be changed. 74% of Americans fear public speaking, 68% fear death and 45% of Americans fear social phobias. These social phobias have led to many of the issues our youth and young adults face today.
The pressure to please people, the pressure to not fail, the pressure to look so strong has in fact weakened the mind of our youth. No longer is it okay to say no. No longer is it okay to answer the teacher’s questions in the class. No longer is it okay to sit in the front of the class. No longer is it okay to be a leader. How can we create leaders when no one is willing to take a risk? Life is about stepping up to the challenge or showing up to take the test. If you trust that you have done everything to prepare, you must have the faith that you will pass the test.
Today, we know that social media or family may have a way of replaying negative things. Often time these negative things downplay a person’s highlights but instead magnify their mistakes. Maybe you grew up with a learning disability where you never fit in in class. Maybe you had an issue with your weight that made you never feel unattractive. Maybe you missed the game winning shot or failed a class. Whatever the issue may be, that doesn’t mean you are a failure, it only means that you may have an area that needs Improvement. As an educator and coach after a test or game, we have been taught as professionals to evaluate the situation. Looking at the date seeing what you need to work on by the next test.
As Christians, we must do the same thing with God. Act on your faith by taking more risk. Faith equals taking more risk. Philippians 4:13 states “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”. God empowers us to do the impossible. Fear only limits our expectations with God. Just as a student who trusts a teacher, they listen to all the instructions that teacher gives and tries to do their best. Regardless of what has happened to you in the past, forgive yourself and those who may have harmed you. God will give you strength. Faith is about knowing that when a storm comes, God is with you. You can dance in the rain because you know that things happen in life to make us stronger and wiser. The more risks we take with God, it allows room for more opportunities in our life. Just like a muscle needs the right amount of stretching, strengthening, nutrients, water and rest to grow, so do we! Praying, fasting, reading, worshiping and serving are ways we can continue to grow.