The Motivating Factor Behind Panic is Fear

What are the motivating factors behind panic?

FEARS.

*Fear of the unknown. We don’t know what will happen so our minds conjure up wild tales and cause worry.
*Fear of loss of control. We like to think we are in control. When we can’t have it or things start slipping through our grasp then we can switch to OCD behaviors, trying to control what we can and controlling others.
*Fear of suffering. Pain and struggle are hard to deal with. And we have a very gratifying lifestyle as Americans so even the idea of suffering and hardship really break our spirits.
*Fear that something bad that happened in the past will happen again. Our pasts and what others have done or painful losses and hurtful situations can cause legitimate fear because it caused us harm in our spirit or body.
*Fear of the known wrongs a person has done coming back to haunt them. We all know there is a circle of paybacks that will come back to us someday (the law of sowing and reaping).
*Fear of death. We are afraid of dying because often our souls and spirits are not right with God.
Fears are often a display of what is going on in the heart. A spiritual window. Why is there mass hysteria over a flu-like illness? Why are we worried about real things that could change our lives temporarily or even forever? But what does this reveal? Or how can I look at this and change my natural reaction to what I am afraid of?

1. Our hopes are not rooted in a foundational trust in Jesus Christ. This shows whether people have a relationship with God or not. If you trust self or some other thing it will always fail or falter when up against a greater thing that would destroy it…whatever “it” might be. And our bad things always will come back to us… it’s more than karma, it’s God’s system of reward for sowing selfishly or spiritually in His system of righteousness. God designed good works only to be done AFTER a relationship with Christ not as a means of making our lives right with God. No amount of goodness will cover up our individual breaking of God’s law. That is why Jesus came and died and rose again. His payment for our wrongs is what we need to see as the sufficient means to begin a foundational relationship with God that will not bend or sway with every pandemic or life-changing experience. God loves you so much he does not want you tortured by fear now or in eternity. The greatest fear would be NOT having a relationship with Christ because of what it will mean when you die, being forever separated from God.

1 John 4:18 KJV — There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.

2. If you are a Christian, maybe you have taken your eyes off God. Peter sank in the high waves and was overcome with fear as he began to sink and cried “Lord, save me!” with Jesus standing right there. Use wisdom, exercise it but don’t panic. Step up like Paul in Acts 27 and proclaim faith in God as a solution for panic to the people around you. Don’t join the mass hysteria or jump on bandwagons to follow every “solution” either. Worldly people’s reaction should not make you jump the gun and leave common sense to follow every “solution.” Have your wits about you.

Guard your heart and mind and look to Jesus as the waves are crashing around your ankles for the answers. He will give them. He will provide you direction. Allow your connection with Jesus to keep you calm, filled with purpose, and busy about sharing the hope and confidence you have in Christ. We may suffer and struggle but we are not alone from the moment we trust Christ until we see Him in heaven.

2 Timothy 1:7 KJV — For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

Luke 12:7 KJV — But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows.

Hebrews 13:6 KJV — So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.

What You Don’t Know About Ladies In Your Church

Think about the things you don’t know about ladies in your church or other sisters in Christ…

I want to encourage you not to jump to conclusions.

You don’t know…

*how much they have prayed about something before they have done something you may not agree with. Stop judging so quickly and labeling and in some cases avoiding.

*if they are following the leadership they are Biblically asked to follow. (They may not wholeheartedly agree with their leadership but they’re following peacefully in faith). Commend her for being obedient instead of being upset. Pray for her, she may not be able to tell you.

*the amount of spiritual attacks they have faced while trying to do right, in the last day, week, month, year. It may be adding up.

*their heart is well-meaning even if they are ignorant on the things they are trying to do or help with or maybe the sins they commit. Young Christians and young people need grace and someone faithful to teach them.

*how care-taking may be playing a toll on their heart and mind. Mamas and women taking care of parents or special needs children don’t need more burdens from your opinions.

*their past or present and how stress taxes their heart from the trauma of dealing with whatever it was or is in their life. Sometimes the past haunts your present and sometimes the present can oppress people’s spirits because they may struggle with looking up at God rather than their burdens.

*that there may be hidden abuse in their life and they’re trying to make everything appear normal but they’re under the strain of doing things however the people in their life are wanting them to do it. In Christian circles some would not even know their sister-in-Christ is pasting a smile on her face because she doesn’t want you to know things aren’t 100% beautiful in her home.

*the silent lies Satan is whispering to them when they are alone. Lies from Satan are divisive and always trying to cause confusion and distraction from God.

*the temptations they are facing and how they may already be frustrated with themselves already for failing. Speak the truth in love when it’s needed, but don’t over preach/teach to people when they’re already beating themselves up.

*they feel a calling or God impressing them to do something and they are worried already that it will be a drastic change in their life and people will be critical of them. Big steps of obedience need encouragement. It’s God’s job to help people go and do what He wants.

We can only see so much into the lives of those around us. Use the Holy Spirit to give you discernment on how to speak and encourage people because you don’t know the situation behind a person’s smile, frown, or tears.

Proverbs 25:11, ” A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.”

Pastors and Wives Share Your Burdens With Your Staff

share-your-burdens-withyour-staff

Today’s post is for those who are pastors and pastors’ wives… in my heart of hearts  I pray that this will be taken in the spirit of encouragement.

If you can name it and it has something to do with the church and its’ members then it can be a stress in the life of you and your family.  Any type of stressor can become a burden when you are unsure of how to deal with something…  or you are waiting in prayer for God to give you an answer so you can move on in faith. Church life definitely can come with baggage — that type of baggage that makes you want to stay in bed on church days  or hide in your office as service times begin. It is not uncommon for unwanted circumstances to come at you in waves and for you to feel inadequately prepared to deal with them in wisdom and a right spirit.

If I could have a heart-to-heart with pastors and their wives about church staff and faithful church workers I would say this: “Friends, don’t bear your burdens alone.” And then I would gently say, “Don’t discount your staff as being people who will not understand your burdens.”

Hey, I know I’ve never been a pastor’s wife (yet) and you can come up with an excuse on the reasons why you hoard burdens upon your shoulders, but please allow me to explain…

We have served beside others or communicated with peers and have seen people we loved keep us from comforting them. We could discern that the weight of the daily in’s and out’s of ministry were bogging them down and causing the spark in their eyes to dim to a depressive state of mind. Yet, for some reason when God brought us as comforters to their door with hands empty and ready to carry some of their load, they slammed the door on us. This left two families with burdened hearts (theirs and ours) instead of a common bond of brother/sisterhood and unity from sharing the weight in their hearts.

Allow God to send comforters to you,  who will be a blessing. 

Never assume that the only ministry family that is suffering and bearing the load of life and ministry is the pastor’s family. If you have church staff or you have laymen that are whole-heartedly invested in your ministry then they also carry the burdens of ministry and responsibility of meeting the needs of people on their shoulders. Sin in church members affects them and their hearts too, it can consume their thoughts and prayers also.

Others may never know the degree of weight you carry because the accountability of the pastor is greater, but remember responsibilities weigh on each person’s life. A burden is a burden. They may not know all the details of counseling sessions or the diligence required to do all things decently and in order while ministering as a shepherd (or shepherd’s wife). Do not minimize their heart’s burdens as insignificant in comparison especially when their burdens are linked to the same church family as yours.

The hands of ministry workers, staff, and volunteers are tied when you separate yourself in a class all of your own and elevate yourself to some level of never being understood because of a position. One person or couple should not be bearing all the burden alone. We are meant to bear one another’s burdens because it fulfills the law of Christ. Christ  took all sin of the world upon Himself as He died in our place, He understands the concept of bearing the burdens of others.

Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ. Galatians 6:2

Church staff in specific situations can often bear a harder burden because of the pressure that is applied from the expectations of the pastor believing they will never understand. They may want to understand, and see how it burdens the pastor. They can recognize how sin puts a blanket on each ministry that is effected by imperfect choices. Do not discount them from being a source of help and encouragement! Most people are capable of genuinely being able to be compassionate in heart toward you. They can understand the behind the scenes knowledge that comes along with being closely involved in the work of the church and respect the need for keeping them in confidence.

“But, what if!?”

Part of bearing one another’s burdens is being humble enough to share. One worry is whether we are sharing our heart’s contents with those who are trustworthy and that is a legitimate concern.  Time can only tell you if you can trust someone. Keeping burdens upon our shoulders because of fearing what other people may say or do (without giving them a chance) is just that, fear. “What if they tell other church members what we’ve talked about?” It is always wise to use discretion in specific matters and to keep information private if it is required.

I feel like I have to make disclaimers all the time because in this world we live in. This message will not fit with every pastor/pastor’s wife and church staff situation out there. There are pastors and their wives who will continue to bear their burdens. There are staff members who will still struggle to feel as if they cannot connect with their pastor/pastor’s wife. Above all, do as the hymn by Charles Tindley  states, “Leave it there, leave it there. Take your burdens to the Lord and leave them there. If you trust and never doubt, He will surely bring you out. Take your burden to the Lord and leave it there.”  God is our greatest burden-bearer. No amount of troubles overwhelm Him when we cast those cares upon His shoulders.

Some of you will try to share their burdens with their staff and might be misunderstood or your “fears” may come true when a staff member unwisely shares your information with other people. For those situations I am truly sorry. You might be robbed of a blessing and I would suggest this: Keep praying. Be sensitive enough to share those burdens with someone you are close to so they can help you bear them (ministry friend, family member, etc.). Then, when the time is right and the Holy Spirit gives you a nudge, take a risk again somewhere in the future and share a burden. Share your prayer request, visions for the future of your church/ministries with your staff, and allow them to see the human part of your spirituality that needs God’s guidance.

Taking a risk here and there is part of the growing process. You may just find that your church staff will do exactly what you need and help carry that load and strengthen you in the process. Remember: You found beneficial qualities in their lives or you would not have hired them! The possibility of sharing these matters may allow you to see God work in His mysterious ways to take care of these burdens… we never know what God will do when we join together in prayer for the problems going on in our church. We may actually see victories against sin, repair in relationships, and spiritual growth but the benefit is that they are shared victories and growth instead of just personal.

Eliminate some of your stress by casting your cares upon the Lord and having enough confidence in your staff to be able to share matters that are on your heart. You need it, they need it, and Lord willing, growth will happen in the process. Your work and ministry is valuable, don’t bog yourself down if you can let others walk and work with you.