Saturday, October 10, 2015

Day 10: Fear of Humiliation

This post is part of a 31-day series.

Yesterday I discussed anxiety about facing a new day.  It usually manifests in a vague sense of dread upon wakening, maybe an uncomfortable knot in the stomach.  

It's difficult but immensely helpful to turn this nebulous discomfort into a clear statement:  I'm afraid of _________.

So far as I have discerned, when I wake up with that old dread, I'm afraid of three main things.

1.  Doing wrong and/or hurting those I love (discussed yesterday).  I submit that this is a healthy and good thing to fear.

2.  Humiliation (discussed today).

3.  Any form of unpleasantness (discussed tomorrow).

Today I'll address the fear of humiliation--or, another way of putting it:  fear of losing control.  Closely related is the fear of being unloved--because if our best facade is shattered, we can't control what people think of us.

I believe these are fears that we must bring to God and repent of.  Once we realize we are humble creatures and not in control, we are seeing reality as it really is.  And in that realization, when we find ourselves still loved unconditionally by our Father, we realize we don't need control, and we don't need our impressive facade.  

Jon Bloom of Desiring God uses the story of Mary and Martha in Luke 10 to reflect on these things:

Love wasn’t motivating Martha’s serving. Anxiety was. Anxiety over what? I don’t know. But if she was like me, it was probably rooted in pride—in how she thought others perceived her.
I am very familiar with prideful anxiety. It tempts me frequently to give precious time to things that aren’t wrong in themselves, but unnecessary. They are distractions. The thing is, I often don’t recognize it as anxiety. I usually experience it as an urge: “I need to get this project done.”
But what’s behind this urge? If I stop to honestly assess my heart, what is exposed is a belief that if I don’t do ____, others will think I’m ____. Maybe they’ll think I’m disorganized or messy or lazy or an ineffective leader. Maybe they’ll see a weakness or sin that I don’t want them to see. What’s motivating me is a desire to impress others.

May God save us from our pride and all the fears it feeds!

Next:  Fear of What Might Be

Other 31-day series!

Make Sense out of Saving Cents

Ways to Put Down Your Phone

Life Lessons on One Foot

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