Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Scared of Rejection?

"In the Garden"  by  Laura Miller  2012 (click to enlarge)
This  picture represents a technique I’d never tried before, but often admired.  It’s called negative painting.    I never understood how to do it until a recent lesson in Mark Mitchell’s How to Be A Children’s Book Illustrator.  It involves painting in layers from behind. You don't paint the object - you paint around it. There are also videos on YouTube that teach this. 
Sometimes it’s scary to try something new. I tend to be a perfectionist which often intimidates the creative flow.  Too often I procrastinate starting a piece of work because I’m tentative about color selection, or placement of characters, or successfully capturing a moment.  So time passes and a blank sheet of paper remains blank.
Often times we are inhibited in sharing the love of God because we fear rejection or failure, or not doing it right.  We say nothing and thereby achieve nothing for the Lord.  Or we turn from something we know God wants us to do because we fear failure.  We then fail because we never try.
What if Paul and Silas had remained silent?  I love the story of them singing in the jail cell (Acts 16). They had been arrested for preaching the Gospel, beaten and put in chains.  They could have chosen to be submissive and silent and hoped for the charges to be dropped in the morning.  But that night they sang and praised God so loudly all the other prisoners heard.  Then, when the earthquake released them from their chains they did not jump up and run.  They stayed.  As a result the keeper and his household were saved!  
Changing goals at my age I often hear myself saying,   What if I fail? What if other people think I’m foolish?   Winston Churchill once said, “Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm.”  Another of my favorites is, “You always pass failure on the way to success,” from Mickey Rooney (now don’t pretend you’re too young to know who he is).  Beatrix Potter’s Peter Rabbit was rejected 6 times, so she self-published (and you thought self-publishing was a new idea!). She was finally published by the London firm of Frederick Warne & company and according to them Beatrix Potter’s stories “have never lost their popularity. Today more than two million Beatrix Potter books are sold every year worldwide – which is four books every minute!”  
More importantly, when it comes to sharing the Gospel we do NOT have to FEAR FAILURE.   As Jesus prayed for Simon Peter  (Luke 22:32) , "But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren,"  he continues to pray for us through the Holy Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God (Romans 8:27).   It is always God's will for us to share the Gospel, so why do we worry especially when Jesus has and is praying for us?
So failure or rejection might happen but it is just part of the process.  If you speak for the Lord and receive a rejection remember it means "they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected [God] (1 Samuel 8:7) Don't obsess about being rejected.  Focus on the moment, the opportunity, go forward with confidence, singing and praising God! 
Leave a comment below and tell me how God has helped you overcome fear.  God Bless Your Day, 

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