Thinking more about my involvement with the 8th graders I have worked with at school, I am realizing why it is so easy to be scared of them: I am afraid that I will not be able to control them, I am afraid that they won't like me, and I am afraid to fail as a teacher.
All of us are often weak people. Myself included (obviously). We are not often genuine with others and we do not often do what we know is the right thing because we are afraid of something. God has recently been teaching me the importance of getting up off my lazy butt and acting like a man who is confident in Christ's redeeming power. He has the power to redeem my brokenness and the fears that I don't really need to be afraid of.
I have always labeled myself as an "introvert" because I often prefer to be quiet in large groups. I also label myself as a "people-pleaser" because I don't want to offend people and I want them to like me. I am realizing how easy it is to just use my labels as a crutch, never getting up to do anything worth while. God is constantly reminding me that the only way for me to be an influence in this world is to get involved and get my hands dirty. Christ gives me His confidence and His faith to get out of my comfort zone to do something beneficial with my life, because having confidence or faith in myself gets me nowhere.
My life rests in God's hands and He is the only One I should fear. Because of this, I can confidently live my life knowing that the best way to please Him is by devoting my life to serving others and declaring my thankfulness for Jesus.
Paul, who spent the first part of his life as a Pharisee persecuting Christians, says: "If anyone else thinks he has reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more: circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee; as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for legalistic righteousness, faultless. But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—-the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith. I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead." (Philippians 3:4-11)
Related post: MAT Update
Image from here.