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Fear

7 Questions for When You Want to Stand Up for Your Beliefs

 
7QuestionsHi, friends!
 
Ever have to stand up for what you believe, knowing it might cost you something?
 

  • A relationship
  • A job
  • Your freedom
  • Your life

 
Standing up for your convictions can be difficult, especially when you’re codependent.
 
Recently, I wrestled with this very issue. And when I say I wrestled with it, I mean I thought of it during the day and dreamed about it at night.
 
I had no clue I was walking into a situation that was against my beliefs, but when confronted with it, I wanted out.
 
The codependent side of me, however, crawled up my arm, propped itself onto my shoulder, inched up to my ear, and whispered its oh-too-familiar lies.
 

You’ll disappoint everyone.
 
What will they say?
 
They won’t talk to you again, they won’t want anything to do with you, they’ll talk behind your back. They’ll say you’re weak.
 
You think you’re all that—holier than everyone else. You’re nothing. You’re a disappointment—even to yourself.
 

 
The enemy sure knows my insecurities! He can prick any of these issues and usually get a reaction out of me.
 
Not this time.
 
I knew right from wrong, and I wasn’t afraid to say so—tactfully, of course. I didn’t point fingers. I didn’t judge. I simply said I couldn’t participate, and I said why.
 
Did my voice waver? Sure it did. Was I nervous? You bet!
 
But I did it: I stood up for my beliefs.
 
Their response? Cricket. Cricket. But… it didn’t matter—not then, not now.
 
I knew who I wanted to please—and I followed through. (Wish I could always say that!)
 

Am I now trying to get people to think well of me? Or do I want God to think well of me? Am I trying to please people? If I were, I would not be serving Christ. (Galatians 1:10)
 

 
For me, it was either please God or please others, not both.
 
 
As I think about what happened, I now see seven questions that could help me make the right choice next time. I hope these seven questions help you too.
 
 

1. How am I feeling?

When something triggers our convictions, our conscience sends up red flags. Our palms sweat, our heart races, and we feel tingling in our armpits (or is that just me?). If we’re showing physical signs of excitement, we’re already not thinking clearly because our emotions are taking over. That’s when we’re more likely to react and make a rash decision (Mark 6:22). Being aware of our emotions when confronted with a compromising situation helps us to step back before making a wrong decision.
 
 

2. How does this issue or situation line up with what I believe?

Although few things in life are black and white, there are absolutes. God’s word is absolute. When we use the Bible to define right and wrong, we’ll know when we face something that goes against our beliefs. Even if the Bible doesn’t address an issue specifically, we can still apply Biblical principles to our decision-making to help us align with God’s definitions of right and wrong. Knowing our boundaries and committing to them ahead of time is essential. Decisions made on the spot tend to miss God’s mark (Matthew 26:69-75).
 
 

3. Am I feeling pressured to compromise?

When we’re surrounded by people who disagree with our beliefs—whether in words or actions, it’s tempting to go along with them. Peer pressure does exist, but it’s usually not as obvious as in childhood. (Thank goodness!) Indirect peer pressure is more common among adults. It’s also more subtle. If we’re not careful, our silence can signal acceptance. Remember, appeasing others displeases God (Mark 15:1-15).
 
 

4. Am I pressuring myself?

Oftentimes, others don’t pressure us; we pressure ourselves. Although we know right from wrong, we reason that if we follow others, we’ll finally belong. But if we stand up, we risk standing alone. Isolation is scary because God made us for relationship—with Him. When we believe that the Lord our God made us to belong to Him, not to anyone else, we know that even if we stand alone, we are never alone. We have Him. He has us. The pressure we place on ourselves to belong to others ignores the fact that we are already His (Psalm 73:23-26).
 
 

5. Who can my decision impact?

When we compromise our beliefs, we’re not the only ones to feel the results. Our families, friends, even fellow believers can suffer because of our hasty decisions (Exodus 34:5-7). Our life will look different after our fateful choice—for better or worse. Our words and actions will either build up others or tear them down. They’ll either spread the hope of God or hinder His work. Our words can give life or death (Proverbs 18:21). Our split-second decisions can confuse or even tempt others to do the same (Romans 14:21; 15:1-2; 1 Corinthians 8:13).
 
 

6. Who will I please?

Before receiving Jesus into our lives, we made decisions based on our own judgment or that of others. When we became Christians, we gave Jesus our allegiance (2 Timothy 2:4). When we do what He says is right, instead of what feels right, we please Him (Romans 8:8). We yield ourselves to His desires, His interests, His definitions of right and wrong. Basically, we do what He wants us to do. Even Christ did not please himself; instead, He did whatever pleased the Father (John 8:28-29; Romans 15:3). We follow His example.
 
 

7. How can I show God’s love?

Choosing to do what’s right, instead of what’s popular, doesn’t mean we have to be obnoxious, judgmental, or rude. We can make our decision and, if necessary, state our reason, all the while showing the gentleness of our example, Jesus Christ. When we make the right choice but express it in the wrong way, we accomplish the opposite of what God wants—for all to see Jesus through us and be drawn to Him now and for all eternity (Proverbs 12:18; 13:3; Colossians 4:6).
 
 
 
I slept soundly that night. Having a clear conscience has a way of doing that. The truth always sets us free (John 8:32).
 
 
 

 
Finally, brothers and sisters, we taught you how to live in a way that pleases God. In fact, that is how you are living. In the name of the Lord Jesus we ask and beg you to do it more and more. (1 Thessalonians 4:1)
 
 
 

 
 
 
Come alongside… Have you ever had to stand up for your beliefs? How did it go? If you haven’t had to stand up for your beliefs, what do you think would be most difficult for you? How can you prepare in the event that you will have to do so in the future? Tell us about it below in the box that says, “Leave a Reply.”
 
 

No. Final answer.

NoFinalREV
 
Hi, friends!
 
 
I tend to overextend myself–do more than what I should do or have time to do. (Haven’t we talked about this before?) 😉
 
 
 
This week, I’m reminding myself–and you–that God has specific plans for each of us. Let’s remember to focus on what God has given each of us to do. Let’s remember to set boundaries–to say “No.” Let’s remember Jesus.
 
 

On the third day a wedding took place at Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there, and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. When the wine was gone, Jesus’ mother said to him, “They have no more wine.” “Dear woman, why do you involve me?” Jesus replied. “My time has not yet come.” His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.” (John 2:1-5)
 

 
 
Jesus said no to his mother?!?! 😮 He sure did.
 
 
Others might try to pressure us to do what they want us to do. Or to get involved in things God doesn’t want us to do at that time. Jesus knew his purpose. He stayed true to God’s plan for Him. He didn’t rush God’s timing, and He didn’t let others sway Him from it.
 
 
Jesus had the authority to say, “No.” He was, after all, God in the flesh. We too have the authority to say, “No.” Here are some tips:
 
 

Start small.

It’s easier to say no to a glass of water than to say no to yet another request to volunteer at your child’s soccer games. So practice with the little things first. It might seem quirky, but it will get you practicing. And it will help you see that “no” isn’t such a bad word.
 

Don’t ramble.

Sometimes I feel I have to explain my “No.” I think I have to tell the other person why I don’t have time to participate in another project, work on weekends, or even join the choir. (Yes, I’m a people-pleaser.) Remember: No is a complete sentence. You don’t have to explain your choice to anyone else. If you know your boundaries, then your “No” should be enough for you–and for anyone else. 🙂
 

Remember your purpose.

What has God called you to do? Are you doing it? If you’re not, then “No” might not be the best response–especially to Him. But if you are walking in your purpose, doing what He has called you to do, then don’t let other things–or people–distract you. There are plenty of good activities out there to participate in, but you don’t have to take part in all of them. Who are you? Be you!
 

Let go of the guilt.

This goes along with knowing your boundaries and your purpose. You know how much you can–or can’t–add to your plate. If you are being honest with yourself and God, then guilt has no place or power over you. If you do feel guilt, it is false guilt–from others, the enemy, or even your critical self. (That’s the person inside you that keeps telling you, “You should be doing…”) If you feel like someone is beating you up over your decision, that’s not God. Remember: When God convicts you–or places a weight on your chest to let you know you’ve done something wrong, that’s when you should reconsider your decision.
 

Be nice.

Sometimes, “No” brings up images of conflict and aggression. Change that image in your mind by changing your approach. You might be nervous or even upset the person is trying to monopolize your time, money, or attention. Being kind shows you’re comfortable with who you are, where you want to focus your attention, and that you care about the other person and his/her feelings. Again, practice is key. Start small. 🙂
 

Rock on.

When you say “No” to one thing, you say “Yes” to something else. That something else can be your purpose, the things you know you’re called to do, the people you’re called to invest in, the passion you’re meant to pursue. Isn’t that freeing? To know you get to take part in the things that God designed specifically for you? It is to me! That is reason enough to rock on!
 
 
 
These are just a few tips to get you started on the path to slowing down and focusing on the things God has for you. I pray you have the freedom to say “No” and to live your life to the fullest. Blessings to you today as you walk within the boundaries God has set for you.
 
 
Big hugs,
Daphne
 
 
Come alongside… Do you have any other tips to saying, “No?” How has saying “No” helped you? Are you still struggling to say, “No?” What can you do to start setting those boundaries? Please comment in the box below. Remember, you can post anonymously.
 


Related Products

 
 

 
 

Book Review: Still Looking by Vicki Huffman

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Click to Purchase on Amazon. (Note: This is an affiliate link.)

 
When I first submitted my family’s unemployment story to Vicki Huffman, I offered to write a review of her book once it was completed. Only God knew the reason and the season in which I would need to read the inspirational words in Still Looking: Finding the Peace of God in Job Loss.
 
 
When I received Vicki’s book to review several months later, my husband had been once again laid off for no fault of his own. Already, four weeks had passed since the day he showed up for work at his industrial construction job on a Monday morning and everyone had been let go. We were just starting to go through the familiar emotional, practical, and even spiritual fallouts of losing a job when I received the book. As I read through her family’s struggles with job loss—eight in all, I kept tapping the pages of my electronic book reader, saying:
 

“Yes! That’s exactly how I feel. That’s exactly how my husband is responding.”


 
 
Vicki was able to tap into those feelings not only from her own family’s experiences but also by citing renowned psychologists, experts, and everyday people who had the dubious honor of being unemployed at one time or another. She compared unemployment and job loss to the stages of grief and how those who are unemployed—for whatever reason—face similar feelings as those who have experienced loss of any kind—health death, divorce, to name a few. Vicki walks readers through the stages of grief, helping them to see the connections with job loss and how they eventually can move forward with the help of God.
 
 
As I read Still Looking, I began to see stages of grief in my own life—but for different reasons. Last year, I resigned from my corporate job at a Fortune 500 company to become a stay-at-home mom of our three children whom we adopted. Although a joyous occasion for my husband and me—and for our children, I felt the loss of fellowship with coworkers, usefulness and productivity that come from completing projects, and the accolades that accompany great work. I was able to see and work through these issues by reading Vicki’s book. She also helped me to understand the pros and cons of women working outside or inside the home, depending on their circumstances.
 
 

In addition to the emotional issues accompanying unemployment, Vicki offered practical and spiritual insight for times of job loss. She gave tips on how spouses can help and affirm each other during unemployment. As I re-read our own stories that we submitted to Vicki, it reminded me of the many ways my husband and I have supported each other during these times and how we can continue to do so.
 
 
Still Looking is filled with practical and spiritual insight on how to spend time during job loss, as well as other considerations that accompany unemployment, such as the possibilities of relocating and self-employment. Vicki also offers a unique perspective for those who are older and find themselves unemployed.
 
 
I especially liked the “P.S.—Post Job Script” sections that summarized each chapter and provided practical tips on how to move forward in recovery from unemployment. The “Peace to You” sections encouraged me with biblical passages and reminders of the peace of God when money is tight.
 
 
Oftentimes, books on difficult subjects tend to provide trite answers. Not so with Still Looking. It is fresh and original; Vicki Huffman has been there and she gets it.
 
 
From beginning to end, Vicki shows the joys of growing closer to God during times of financial strain. She is a great example of finding true peace during unemployment.
 
 
If I had one critique, it would be this: I would have liked for the book to include a set of study questions, whether at the end of each chapter or at the end of the book. That way, readers could work through the issues in each chapter more readily.
 
 
Regardless, I highly recommend Vicki Huffman’s Still Looking: Finding the Peace of God in Job Loss. It is a great tool to help readers through the valleys of unemployment—not once, but as in our case, several times. Still Looking is ideal for anyone who has a job and feels like it may be time to move on to another job or season in life, or they sense that unemployment might be imminent. It is a great resource for Bible study groups; readers can use it by themselves, with a mentor or counselor, or in a small group format. People in recovery groups also could benefit from it. The book also would be a great gift for someone working through issues of financial struggle.
 
 
Still Looking: Finding the Peace of God in Job Loss is available on Amazon (affiliate link).
 
 
Be blessed!
 
 
Come alongside… Have you experienced job loss? How have you dealt with it? Share in the comments below.
 
 

Comfort… Coming Right Up! Er, Down!

 

Ever have someone tell you just what you needed to hear—without your asking?

 

It happened to me just a few minutes ago.

 

I’ve posted about my fear of publishing my very own book. I start then I stop. Start. Stop. Start. Stop. Right now, I’m stopped.

 
Comfortrev
 
I’ve been praying about this because I know that this is what I’m supposed to do–and I want to do it! So I’ve been cuddling up to God the way I’ve posted before so that He’s the only One I see and hear, cheering me on the way He knows best. That’s when I’ve been able to start again.

 

This morning, a writer friend shared this on Facebook:

 

Say it to yourself!

Note 2 Self: No matter how afraid, indecisive, uncomfortable or anxious I am about my path, as long as I keep moving I will always make progress.

 

 

I really needed to hear that!

 

I didn’t expect anything more because I had already received the comfort I needed to take another step toward my goal. But when I thanked her, she comforted me even more.

 

All it takes is one step at a time. That’s how you get to your destination! It took me awhile to write my book. I’d be inspired one second and then once I got closer to completing it I would stop. Once I put aside my fear and anxiety over who would buy it, how would it be perceived, etc. and just finished and published it for the simple fact that it was something I set out to do, then everything else was easy. Most times the voices in our head that keep feeding us doubts and fears don’t know what they’re talking about! LOL

 

 

This is just what I’ve needed to get up, head to the office supply store, buy a pack of printer paper, and print out what I have so far.

 

 

What comfort!

 

 

Dear ones, God places people on our paths for specific reasons. Sometimes, we comfort them. Today, I was the one who needed comfort—though no one knew.

 

Isn’t God good? He knows just what we need even when we can’t put it into words ourselves.

 

Also, the Spirit helps us with our weakness. We do not know how to pray as we should. But the Spirit himself speaks to God for us, even begs God for us with deep feelings that words cannot explain. (Romans 8:26)

 

 

Once He hears us, He goes into action.

 

I will answer them before they even call to me. While they are still talking to me about their needs, I will go ahead and answer their prayers! (Isaiah 65:24)

 

 

Dear ones, He answered my prayers–yet again!

 

I pray blessings on that special person who used her passion for helping others to speak comfort and inspiration into my life just when I needed it most.

 

Today, someone came alongside me. And today, I come alongside you: God is listening–hang in there. Comfort’s coming right up–er, down!

 

 

Come alongside… Has this happened to you? Has someone shared with you something you needed to hear at the very moment you needed it? Scroll down and share it with us in the comments section.

 
 


 

Movies about Encouraging Others

 
 

 

Oh, God! Quick: Fight, Flight, or Freeze???

 

Your heart races. Stress stings your pores. Beads of sweat sneak through your skin.

 

You don’t know what to make of it, but it has set you on edge. Threatened. Afraid. Fearful. Uncertain. Confused. You can:

 

  • Fight,
  • Flight, or
  • Freeze.

 

These are your body’s instinctive reactions to fear. We all have them.

 

Jesus’ followers felt fear—on many occasions, it was warranted. On one occasion, three disciples accompanied Jesus up a mountain. There, Jesus revealed himself—and I mean transformed himself—in such radiant light that the disciples didn’t know what to make of it. They were afraid. They heard the voice of God clearly, and they were shaken to the core.

 

 

While he (Jesus) was still speaking, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and behold, a voice out of the cloud said, “This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well-pleased; listen to Him!” When the disciples heard this, they fell face down to the ground and were terrified. (Matthew 17:5-6)

 

 

The disciples panicked. But don’t miss this:

 

 

Jesus came to them and touched them and said, “Get up, and do not be afraid.” (Matthew 17:7)

 

 

Jesus came to his disciples. He drew near to them. Although the disciples went up the mountain with Jesus, they were still a short distance from Him. When He saw their fear, He came to them. He brought them to himself.

 

Even more, He touched them. Not just any touch, but a touch of comfort and strength. And His voice—not angry, annoyed, belittling, or critical—but calm.

 

He encouraged them: Get up. Come nearer to me. Get close. I know you’re afraid, but listen to me: There’s no need to fight. No need to flee. And no need to freeze. I’m here to encourage you—not to frighten you. I’m here to show you who I really am—and who I can be in your life, if you would only listen to me.

 

 

Look what happened next.

 

And lifting up their eyes, they saw no one except Jesus Himself alone. (Matthew 17:8)

 

 

The presence of Jesus, His touch, and His voice were the only things that reassured them enough to raise their heads again. And when they felt safe enough with Him, they looked and saw no one but Jesus himself. Jesus—Jehovah, their salvation—saved them from their fears. Jesus alone. No one else.

 

 

They were so close to Jesus that all they saw was… Jesus!

 

 

Fears were gone. The instinct to fight, flight, or freeze vanished. They were safe with Him—as they always were.

 

Dear one, we panic, especially when God wants to show us who He really is in our lives. God loves us. And when He urges us to listen to Him—through His word, prayer, counselors, or others—it’s only natural for our pulse to sprint off with a bang.

 

  • We want to fight what God says.
  • We want to flee in the opposite direction.
  • We stiffen every muscle and freeze.

 

But be encouraged: God wants the best for us—and the best is in Him and through Him. He sees our fearful conditions, has compassion on us, and comes to us. No belittling, no criticizing—just Jesus. Tender. Loving. Calm. Close.

 

Sense His presence. Cuddle up to Him. Lift your eyes and see Him—only Him.

 

Fight, flight, or freeze? With Jesus, no need.

 

How to handle fear

 

Come alongside…. What is God trying to show you? Are you afraid? Are you fighting, fleeing, or freezing up? How can you change your response to Him? Do you have an example of this from your own life? Share it with us by leaving a comment below. Remember, you can comment anonymously, if you so desire.

 
 


 

Resources for Dealing with Fear

 
 

 

Affiliate Disclosure

Daphne Tarango is a participant in affiliate programs with Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, DaySpring, Church Source, Hazelden, Christian Strong (via Conversant and ShareASale). These advertising services are designed to provide a means for sites like DaphneWrites.com to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to said merchants. Some images and articles may contain links to products on merchant sites. Should you choose to make purchases through those links, please understand that I will receive a small commission. Please do not feel like you need to use these links to make any purchases. The links are only for your convenience. Thank you.

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