This is a major religious holiday week for two of the most prevalent religions in the world – Judaism and Christianity. Jews are commemorating the Passover and God’s leading the Israelites out of slavery in Egypt. Over the following 40 years they were in the desert on the way to the promised land with delays due to disobedience. Their mistakes and wayward decisions had many consequences.
The Jews were enslaved and mistreated by the people of Egypt. They then were ungrateful and easily distracted from the miracle of their deliverance. They continued to make mistakes.
Christians are celebrating Easter, the risen Christ after a brutal betrayal and death 3 days earlier.
The people who celebrated Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem were the same ones who cried ‘Crucify Him’ a few days later. And even after this supreme sacrifice, Christians continue to sin. We continue to sin, make mistakes, and get absorbed in ourselves.
So, it wasn’t just the people in Biblical times that made mistakes. We ALL continue to do that every day. How do you handle your mistakes? How do you handle the things you choose to do that you later regret? How do you handle the things that are done to you that hurt you?
Fear of Failure
I have known many people who are afraid of failing. Often, they are even more afraid of anyone finding out that they failed. There seem to be two extremes of ways to handle this fear.
#1 – Avoid any situation that could result in failure. Do you shy away from any risk? Do you avoid variation in your life and avoid all opportunities since you aren’t guaranteed success? How deep does this fear run? Do you eat the same meals repeatedly rather than try something new? Do you keep the same schedule to minimize an unexpected situation?
#2 – Hide any hint of failure. Do you take some risks but hide or deny anything that goes wrong? Do you maintain the illusion of perfection? Do you push away people who might get close enough to see your weaknesses?
Fear of failure is a prime source of anxiety. The fear is so intense just the thought of taking a risk provokes stress, rapid heart rate, sweating, feelings of overwhelm.
Fear of failure can lead to depression due to self-selected isolation. Or, if you hide and deny your failures, you can get caught in a web of lies that gets beyond your control.
I don’t want to count the number of people I’ve talked with who have a sad secret hurt from their past. These hurts changed their lives. They are terrible things like abuse, rape, molestation, abandonment, or neglect. They have ‘dealt’ with these issues by trying to deny they happened. Or, they have been told by family to keep quiet and never talk about it. Other times the hidden truths are of marital affairs, lost jobs, drug abuse, or heavy drinking.
Whatever the hidden truth, there is no denying the impact. Our conscience knows and doesn’t forget.
Like before, if you keep it hidden, suppressed, and don’t release it, all of that pain comes out another way. I have known so many people with chronic pain that was related to these hidden truths. Others suffered from anxiety and/or depression. There was an ever-present fear and ‘dark cloud’ in their life.
Counseling and Medication
Many people choose to ‘treat’ these fears and hidden truths with medication. Sometimes it is with prescribed medication such as antianxiety or antidepressant medications. Other people choose to self-treat with alcohol, marijuana, or other substances.
The medication can help in many instances. In others, it just dulls the thinking. The memories, the guilt, or the hurt isn’t as sharp when under the influence of the medication or other substance.
Your life is meant to be lived fully aware and present. You miss out on so much when you aren’t engaged in your life.
That is very often where counseling comes in. These fears and hidden truths need to be released. Counseling, clinical or faith based, can be that outlet to help you really deal with these hurts, mistakes, or ongoing issues. Through counseling you can confront these items, face them, learn to process them, and then learn to live beyond them. (Note, I am not suggesting your hurts, fears, and pain are not real. I am not suggesting you will just walk away and forget them. I am suggesting you can benefit from counseling +/- medication.)
This is one of those areas that can’t be ‘fixed by a pill.’ The medication can help, but it is unlikely to actually resolve the problems. A trusted, skilled counselor can help you get back to really living.
To learn more about the role of medication and for help finding a good counselor, contact us at Meds MASH, LLC at www.medsmash.com/contact or 410-472-5078.
Christ is risen!!!!!! He is alive and active and so very present in our world today.
I am writing this on Easter. It is such a beautiful day. Not only is it warm and sunny outside, but what an amazing day to reflect and let is sink down deep that Jesus went through the worst people can do to other people all because of his love for me, for you, for all of us!
He put himself in the situation to endure physical pain in the extreme over many hours, rejection, slander, betrayal, humiliation, abuse, and complete degradation. I don’t know about you, but I fear ANY of those things. I can’t imagine purposefully enduring any of that.
I am the sinner for whom he died. I am the sinner – each and every day – who he loves and forgives over and over and over and over…
James 4:17 ESV
So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.
Romans 8:1 ESV
There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
I can’t deny it. I might try to pretend to avoid sin, but you know better. We ALL sin, in spite of our best efforts to not. You are not perfect. I am not perfect. Only Christ was ever on earth as a perfect human.
Let’s get real with each other. Let’s be honest and support each other through the mess of life. We all have our joyful, peaceful times. We all have our dark, difficult times.
Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.
Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.
Hebrews 10:25 ESV
Not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.
My purpose today is to encourage you to celebrate your new life in Christ! He is alive and loving you right this moment. Claim your new life in Christ. Open up to your Christian friends, teachers, and supports. Live the on-purpose, fully alive life Christ died to give you.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
If your story includes fear of failure, fear of risks, or any of a multitude of hidden truths, Christ died for you. You can live beyond the worst this world can give you. You are loved. You are not alone. An eternity of joy and peace and love awaits you!