5. Ruthlessly Deal with Personal Fear
The more chaotic or uncertain our world feels, the more likely we are to respond from fear rather than faith. This means, when adversity hits, we need to be extra diligent to remain close to Christ. He’s our power source (John 15:1-4), Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6), an ever-present help in times of trouble (Psalm 46:1, Matthew 28:20). He can calm the storm within us, no matter how strong the tornado is surrounding us.
Everyone struggles with anxiety and insecurity, but fear left unchecked often turns ugly. It caused the ancient Egyptians to oppress and enslave an entire people group (Exodus 1:1-22). It spurred Saul, ancient Israel’s first king, into a murderous rage (1 Samuel 18), and it kept the Israelites from fully following God’s lead into the Promised Land (Numbers 14). In short, fear—of rejection, failure, exposure, of insufficiency and insignificance—hinders our relationships, our impact, and our ability to hear from and respond to Christ.
When we feel threatened, we’re more apt to react, to strive, compete and compare, and we’re less able to listen. When we sense anxiety rising, we can push through, attempting to overcome our emotions in our own strength. Or we can draw near to God, inviting Him to search, heal, and transform, the deep, hidden places in our hearts. He can bring us to a place of confidence and courage, where we lead from a place of victory.
As leaders, we will face adversity, but our challenges don’t have to defeat us. In fact, if we draw near to Christ, seek His guidance, and follow His lead, He will use the most difficult situations for our good. When we hold tight to our calling, listen well, focus on growth and grace, and surrender our fears to Christ, we position ourselves for eternal, unstoppable impact. In short, we become more like the leaders He created us to be.
Jennifer Slattery is a writer and speaker who’s addressed women’s groups, Bible studies, and writers across the nation. She’s the author of the soon to release Building a Family and numerous other titles and maintains a devotional blog at JenniferSlatteryLivesOutLoud.com. As the founder of Wholly Loved Ministries, she’s passionate about helping women discover, embrace, and live out who they are in Christ. Visit her online to learn more about her speaking or to book her for your next women’s event and sign up for her free quarterly newsletter HERE and make sure to connect with her on Facebook and Instagram.
Photo Credit: Getty Images/fizkes