I have written many papers. As a graduate of the International Baccalaureate program, I learned how to quickly come up with three to five pages on a given topic within a tight time frame. My undergraduate and graduate degrees continued developing this skill by expanding the fields which I could write about. History, public administration, Christian theology and biblical exegesis are all topics now under my belt. I can write research papers. It is engrained in me and I’m fairly good at it.
But this is my first blog post.
Kris likes to tell me that it should be easy for me to pick up blog writing, since I “spend so much time” writing in my journal and have already written so many of those “hard papers.”
This is different.
This is actually harder than having a predefined research agenda, strict thesis – body – conclusion structure, and an academic audience in mind when writing a paper. There is no objective distance in a blog post. It is essentially a journal entry or an opinion piece with the entire world as its potential audience.
For some reason that is daunting to me and every time I have opened up my laptop to write, I spend more time staring at a blank white word document than typing anything. I feel like I am going to fail at it and I stop.
My fear of failure is my greatest failure.
How many times have I used that excuse to not do something? In my mind I think “if can’t do it well, then I shouldn’t try.” I have said no to writing a journal article on one of my undergraduate papers, because I was afraid of failure. I choose not to preach at my seminary when asked, because I was afraid of failure. I have repeatedly rejected any offer to write for a friend’s website, because I was afraid of failure.
My pride for perfection prevents me from living into my purpose.
God has given us all gifts that are intended to be used purposefully. In my prideful fear of failure, I have become the person who has buried my talents, expecting God to be pleased with preservation instead of practice.
‘So I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is yours.’ – Mat 25.25
I have been unfaithful with my talents. I have chosen to withhold myself because I only wanted to do those things of which I could guarantee excellence. Trying and falling short of perfection is not a failure. Not trying is a failure.
This is the word with which I wrestle. It is the area of my heart that God has lovingly exposed that I may live more fully into my Kingdom purpose. I am profoundly grateful that our Lord speaks the “truth in love” that I may daily realign myself to the Christ Way of life.
Kris and I pray that thewiselife blog is a place where we can be open, honest, and real about our life, family and ministry. As this is my first blog entry, I wanted to begin from a place of raw vulnerability, that you may hear and see that we are on this faith journey not in front or behind, but alongside you.
God is at work in all of our lives, and we are graciously able to walk together in community. Encouraging and challenging one another in the faith and in life.
Speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work. – Eph 4.15-16
To God be the glory.