Sometimes, I have to go back and reread my own posts, take my own advice, relearn what I’ve already learned. The new year is definitely a time for that. Believe it or not, January through February is my time to doubt everything we are doing.
Is our history as effective as it could be?
Am I doing a good enough job with science or writing or math?
Would the kids benefit from doing this or that differently?
Maybe what we’re doing isn’t best.
And while some self-evaluation is healthy, I often succumb to a lot of unhealthy fears, mostly an enormous “fear of man.”
- a fear that my kids will become discouraged or will suddenly dislike learning
- a fear that they won’t know what other kids know (like the scientific method or the Pledge of Allegiance)
- a fear of what others will think of my kids or me or homeschooling in general
And on those days, when I feel like I’m living in a Dr. Seuss illustration with my doubts looming in monster-like form, I remind myself that the fear of man is a snare, and I work through my battle plan for escape.
4 Scriptures for battling the fear of man
- “The fear of man lays a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD is safe.” (Proverbs 29:25 ESV) Whoever trusts in the Lord is safe—what a promise! I’m safe from fear, from guilt, from the snare of comparison and from needing approval. When I’m trusting in Him, His is the only approval that matters.
- “For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.” (Galatians 1:10 ESV) In my moments of fear, I need a quick reminder about who it is I’m living my life for. I’m not living my life for the grocery store cashier or the person in the waiting room quizzing my kids on their multiplication facts. I live my life and raise my kids before Christ alone.
- “Who are you to pass judgment on the servant of another? It is before his own master that he stands or falls. And he will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make him stand.” (Romans 14:4 ESV) This is one of my all-time favorites: only God defines my faithfulness. Only He sets the standard. Only He determines my success.
- “The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.” (Ecclesiastes 12:13 ESV) The end of the matter—don’t we just need to hear that, in the midst of those loud voices of disapproval in our hearts? This is the end of the matter. Period. My whole duty summed up in one verse: fear God alone. He is the only opinion that matters.
I live before an audience of One—before others, I have nothing to gain, nothing to hide, nothing to lose. ~Os Guiness
I also pray for wisdom—and grace—and direction—and a huge red light if I need to stop or a huge green light if I’m okay. And then? Then, I make breakfast, pour a cup of coffee, write in my planner, and the day starts once more with my Dr. Seuss monsters shut tight in their respective cages, for the time being.
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