Holding Back

December 4, 2023

“….for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.”
– 1 Timothy 1:7 (ESV)

Too often, we are tempted to hold back. I can remember when my oldest son wanted to play organized football for the first time. He liked the game and wanted to be with his friends, but he didn’t possess what I would call a “football body”. He was positioned in the secondary and loved to go for interceptions, but he was hesitant of physical contact. As a result, I noticed he often played much further from the line of scrimmage than he should have. As a coach, I knew this had to be corrected, but as a father, I had to tease him a little too. I told him he had created a new football position. Instead of playing cornerback, he was playing “way back”! Just as I expected, he didn’t see as much humor in the situation as I did. As the season played out, he was able to overcome much of his fear and timidity. He learned a great deal about taking on new challenges and facing his fears with confidence.

There’s a lesson for each of us in this story. The Apostle Paul knew about obstacles and hardship. He was imprisoned, shipwrecked and beaten, but he continued to move forward in God’s call on his life. He refused to allow fear to control him. He neither held back nor did he put himself in the “way back” position. Paul knew that fear did not come from God. Being fearful or hesitant are natural emotions, but with God’s help, they can be defeated. As a child of God, unlimited strength is ours for the asking. We may not always receive the outcome we desire, but we can face our fears with confidence and complete trust in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Heavenly Father, You are my strength in the difficult times. Teach me to put my complete trust in You and never hold back from the things You have called me to do. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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