“For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”1 Corinthians 1:18
Overtime, I’ve come to realize that I am a perfectionist, and when I start believing that I am not smart, then criticism shows it’s ugly face.
As much as I strive for intelligence, God looks for the foolish things of the world to preach about the Good News (1 Corinthians 1:27). Our world wants you to believe you have to know all the answers, go to the best schools, have an excellent IQ, be a great public speaker and have an outgoing personality.
Talking in front of small or large groups (anywhere from 2-30 people) is intimidating for me. I’ve had at least three panic attacks in relation to public speaking. In High School, I was asked to do a math problem up on the board. A few minutes after I attempted the problem, I started sweating profusely, and then bolted into the bathroom while gasping for air and splashing cold water on my face.
Ever since I became a Christ follower, God has drawn my attention to Scripture. Paul stood out to me, and would in our culture. He was smart, outgoing, and most likely had a high IQ when it came to Jewish tradition, laws, and the Old Testament. When he heard that people believed in Jesus as the Messiah, he pursued and killed anyone who identified as a Christ follower – or a Christian. One day, Jesus revealed himself to Paul, and Paul was never the same.
Paul became a passionate Christ follower, and encouraged Christians everywhere while preaching the Good News to everyone. In one of his letters to the Corinthians, he addresses their criticism of his poor speaking abilities while in person with them even though in his letters he acts bold. This critique actually led Corinthians to start to doubt Paul as well as the Good News. Paul responds: “For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel – not with wisdom and eloquence, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.” – 1 Corinthians 1: 17. Paul’s message was simple because the Good News is simple, and that is: Jesus is God; believe in Him, and You will never die, but have eternal life.
As a teacher, I speak in front of groups all the time! Regardless, I am not a good speaker, but that does not matter to Jesus. Being a Christian does not mean that I am automatically a great speaker. God picks the foolish things of the world to share the good and simple news, and if that’s the case, then I am more than enough!
“But she finally realized her curiosity outweighed her fear.”-Steph Williams O’Brien
To find more information on Steph O’Brien or her book, Stay Curious, click the link below. https://www.instagram.com/explore/tags/staycuriousbook/