This past weekend my husband and I enjoyed the award-winning movie The King’s Speech, the story of British King George VI and the speech therapist who helped him overcome his stammer. After years of searching in vain for a cure, the King (then the Duke of York) began to meet with Lionel Logue, a man without credentials, basically a nobody. Logue’s previous work with war veterans had exposed fear as the underlying cause of their non-physical speech issues. In time he helped the Duke recognize that his childhood dread of his father’s anger brought on his impairment. Eventually, fear of speaking had permeated his entire life, paralyzing him from discharging his royal duties as the voice of Britain.
All of us deal with fear to some extent.
Just as King George did, we Christians can allow it to cripple us, preventing us from living the abundant life. When we are more concerned about what others think of us than about pleasing God, fear of people will drive us. Thus, we lose our voice to share the gospel at opportune moments. Or perhaps we hide behind a veneer of perfection, presenting a false self in hopes of gaining acceptance and love. For many of us, fear means we devote more time and money on our physical appearances to impress others than we do developing the inward beauty that pleases God.
Watching this movie reminded me that I am often way too concerned about the opinion of those around me. (Warning thoughts: I don’t have the right thing to wear. I can’t tell anyone I did that! If I talk about Jesus, will she like me? I have to tell her “yes,” or she may be mad at me.) I need to recognize such feelings as fear, confess my lack of faith, and ask God for the grace to obey him instead of satisfying people. I want to be like Paul who desired to please God above all others (Gal. 1:10).
Let’s overcome the fear factor and live the abundant life of faith!
What fears can paralyze you? How do you practically replace them with faith?