fearIn conversation with my colleague and professor of Psychology at Texas A&M, Dr. Charles Ridley, we talked about what really gets in the way of personal discipleship growth and process. There are many types of impasses—blind spots, assumptions, patterns, blockages—anything that gets in the way of your progress and prevents you from moving forward.

Yet these impasses can also be framed as opportunities. How can God use these obstacles to benefit us? To help us grow?

Impasses can be physical and observable, or they can be psychological and internal. Fear is the biggest, most common impasse. Fear allows us to respond to threats and danger; it’s a gift. Our feelings of fear are real; they are what we experience. Yet we can have two basic responses to fear: approach behavior or avoidance behavior. Both can be healthy or unhealthy based on the situation. For instance, if you see a loose tiger, avoid. If you have butterflies before speaking publicly, approach in spite of your anxiety.

Our choices indicate whether we are following God’s promptings or not. Fear is natural; it’s how we respond that matters. It’s what we do despite our fears, not the absence of fear.

How can we get in touch with our own experiences and fears so they don’t get in our way of what we are called to do? What fears get in the way of your personal journey of discipleship? Are there fears around taking risks? Looking foolish? Trying new things? Doing it wrong?

Photo by Chris Lawton on Unsplash