A Message from the Pastor
I’m wondering…how many of you suffer from Glossophobia? If you don’t know what that is, it is the number 1 fear that people have, or number 2, depending on which study you look at. But what is this tremendous fear…its public speaking. In fact, it’s more feared by Americans than death…which comes in at number 3.
But speaking in public is just one of those things that seem to scare the life out of most people. I can vividly recall some of my classmates in middle and high school shaking so violently, and obviously nervous as all get-out during some presentation to the class, that I honestly thought they might pass out.
So, most of us are kind of glad that we’re not Moses, Isaiah, Jonah, or Ezekiel to whom God came to and basically said, “You’re on…you’re going to speak for me…so get out there…oh, and don’t worry about a thing.”
But what underlies our fear of speaking to others, is our fear of not being able to achieve a level of success that others will appreciate, or at least won’t make people think less of us, after all, we do live in a culture that measures everything as either being successful, or being a failure, and nobody wants to be a failure.
Even in the church we often succumb to the world’s way of measuring success. Does our church have a nice building? How’s our budget doing? Which church in town is the biggest and most popular?
But if there’s something we learn from the Scriptures, it’s that God looks at success differently than the world does.
For instance, God tells Ezekiel that success is actually measured in terms of our faithfulness to God’s Word, and our proclaiming it to the world around us without changing or modifying it, to make it more appealing to our sinful society. In other words, success in ministry and our professing our faith in Christ to others, is not based upon people’s acceptance of that Word, it’s based upon our being faithful in its proclamation. Ah…I bet you never thought of it that way before, did you?
Success according to our Lord is in fulfilling your vocation, what-ever that may be, and being a part of God’s plan to redeem the world, and bringing lost souls into our Lord’s kingdom by our witness to the truth of the Bible, and Christ’s sacrifice on the cross to take away the condemnation for our sins.
Now the way in which we do this, is as different and varied as we are. However, the standard by which God will measure our success, is in our being faithful to Him and His Word.
History records that many people refused to listen to the prophets, I suppose, not unlike many of our efforts today to get people to realize how important church, worship, and Bible study is for one’s eternal salvation. For those of us who witness to others at work, home, and in our neighborhoods, we might tend to become discouraged when our message appears to fall on deaf ears, and we can’t understand why God is relegated to being such an insignificant part of people’s lives. But again, the Bible tells us that we are successful simply by being faithful to that message to others, and that it is God Himself who takes on the responsibility to save…and boy did He ever…on the cross.
It’s been getting pretty weird in our country as of late…morality is down the tubes, people are rioting and calling for police departments to be shut down, unemployment and the nation’s debt are both approaching scary numbers. The last thing folks in our society will want to hear about is Jesus…someone they increasingly don’t know or are pretty sure they don’t need. But the truth is, this is the perfect time to share the Good News! Folks are anxious about the future and are looking for a place to anchor their boat in these turbulent times. So pray for guidance, strength, opportunities, and if need be…the ability to overcome your Glossophobia!
Serving our Savior,