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On fearing God more than men

June 16th, 2012 by Madeleine

I do a lot of things that seem to scare other people. I run this blog; I think up ideas and put them forward in public in a context where I invite criticism on them, I risk falling flat on my face and looking stupid as I do so. I engage in this blog and on other blogs under my real name. I willingly engage in public speaking, I willingly engage in public debate on topics as polarising as religion, homosexuality and abortion – and I do so not just on the internet but in public venues and in print media, radio, television,  you tube. I chose as my career a role that sees me take my ideas and arguments and present them in court several times a week where they are vigorously tested and ruled on by a judge; if I get it wrong things like people’s safety and the custody of their children and their rights and freedoms and financial means are at stake.

To me this is all normal and I thrive on it. I recently applied for and was auditioned for New Zealand’s Hottest Home Baker, I am a good cook and the challenges the show presents plus the opportunity to test my skills appealed. After I wrote that I had an audition for the show, one of my Facebook friends asked “does nothing scare you?” The question made me think, particularly today in the wake of having just yesterday read someone else’s thoughts on me and this issue. So this is my answer.

I am aware that people think I am strange for being drawn to these types of activities – they are probably right.

I am aware that people think I must be left-brained and have an A-type personality and am probably part-Aspie, like the males in my family – they are probably right.

But when people think that I find doing the above easy, that I am not scared, that I feel no fear, that my confidence is such that I do not doubt, and that the knocks I take, the criticism, the vitriol, the anger, the slander that is sometimes directed at me does not hurt me or cause me distress – they are wrong.

I am always struggling with being scared, fearful, plagued with doubts, sometimes frozen in indecision as I do the above. The criticism rattles me, the vitriol, anger and slander wounds me. Some days I crack. I freeze. In the worst instances I shut down and feel utterly flat, despondent and I get all weepy for hours or even a day or so and wonder how I can go on and see out an argument or a debate or a case and why I started it in the first place. Insecurities creep in and plague my mind. I am not tough and I am not thick skinned. So why do I look like I am?

Two scriptures are firmly entrenched in my mind, my being, and have been for a long time – ever since I came to terms with and began to accept that I am wired differently and that being that way is ok:

“From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.” Luke 12:48b

“Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Matthew 10:28

The knowledge that I can push myself beyond what I feel, if I feel I should, and that when I do I am able to sometimes achieve things that are important to be achieved for a purpose more important than me is why I do it. I fear God more than men, but make no mistake: I fear. Because I know He has enabled me to be able to act competently and that He expects me to do so where it is right to, I act, but it does not mean that doing this is easy nor does it mean that I do not pay a price or feel the slings and arrows. I am human; like everyone else, I bleed.

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6 responses so far ↓

  • It is the kind of resilience you show that will make the world a better place for me, my kids, and their grand-kids. Fight the good fight, brave and true…

  • More power to your elbow!

  • Great post Madeleine!
    Certain personalities when found in women swim upstream in our society. It comes as a surprise to those who do not know us well, that we have all the feelings of “normal” women!
    Keep embracing who you are before God! And take the time to refresh and renew.
    Lots of Love

  • Tarnya, I know that you know what I mean.

    You too 🙂

  • Thank you so much for sharing.

    My wife, Lea, asked me how I can take the criticism, allowing those who attack my personality and not the argument present in my blog.

    I answered her, Madeliene, with Eph. 6:12 “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” and as Reformed, I know, I would have been in the same position as those who attack my personalite because “the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so.” as Paul wrote in Rom. 8:7.

    Do I get used to hurtful words? No, but we know Christ warned that we will be hated by the world. My joy, delight and treasuring of Him overflows, and I cannot keep quiet, I cannot but share and hope God will grant them eyes, ears and life to see how glories He is. I am encouraged that I stand not alone.

    Thank you Madeliene.


  • There is great comfort in knowing that God understands what we feel when we are attacked, that he has bourn far worse. There is great comfort in knowing that when we stand for truth and justice that he stands with us. There is also great comfort in knowing that his hand is on all things. God is good.