I’m afraid of being stupid

unlocked doorLook at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?
Matthew 6:26

I’m afraid of being stupid.
Which is illogical.
Because I already am stupid.

Here’s an example.

I’ve had back pain for almost 10 years now, especially at night, which contributes to insomnia that I’ve also had for several years. I’ve tried doctors and specialists. MRIs and body scans. Chiropractors and physical therapists. More doctors and more specialists. No relief. And it scares me to think it could get worse.

But you know what scares me more?
That there was an easy fix along the way, and I didn’t see it.

I’m afraid to think I missed it.

It’s taken me awhile to root out this fear.
This fear of stupidity.
This fear of missing out on something better because I’m not seeing something simple.

  • I’m afraid Jenna will have a car wreck because I ignored a weird sound in the engine.
  • I’m afraid a thief will break in because I forgot to lock the back door.
  • I’m afraid my daughters will quit reading the Bible because I didn’t print out a daily reading plan.
  • I’m afraid we’ll lose (more) money because I didn’t research the 401K options better.
  • I’m afraid I’ll make a friend’s marriage problem worse because I didn’t think clearly enough about what advice to give.

All those things are possible.

But the most stupid thing of all?

I’m not trusting God enough to make up for my stupidity.

How stupid is that? There are a million things I overlook every day or intentionally let slide through laziness. Yet God has still taken excellent care of me, in spite of me.

  • I have caught viruses because I ate after my kids.
  • I’ve been charged a late fee because I forgot to pay a bill.
  • I’ve gotten in fights with my husband because I refused to let go of my opinion.

All things that could have been avoided if I had been smarter.
But still, I was okay.

And even if I do an ultimate stupid thing—take a fatal step in front of a speeding car without looking both ways or ignore a serious illness manifesting in obvious signs—I’d still be okay in the end because God has already saved me. From myself. From my stupidity.

His grace covers stupidity, too.

It’s time to rest from anxiety about things I mess up, whether in or out of my control, and instead depend on God’s grace through more blunders I’m surely yet to make.

Fearing stupidity distracts me from my true purpose: depending on God.

My fear of being unprepared when I could have been prepared isn’t just a personality quirk or a weakness—it’s pride. And pride is sin.

Sure, I still desire and will work to be as smart as I can—I’m a daughter of the King and I want to use my mind as wisely as royalty should—but I don’t have to be afraid of messing things up, even though I will continue to mess things up.

Because Someone much smarter than me is watching my steps even closer than I am. He can fix any mess I make. He already has.

God’s infinite knowledge is coupled with infinite love.
I’m not too stupid to understand that.

Lord,
Thank you for not requiring me to do everything right, but instead desiring that I trust that
you do everything right.

I don’t need to know everything; I just need to know you.

But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. 
Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

Matthew 6:33-34

* * *

Getting prepared for this study with Angie:
What-Women-Fear-by-Angie-Smith

24 comments:

Rebecca said...

Thanks, Lisa...I needed this reminder! We tease all that a certain set of our scout friends have the motto: "Be Preparanoid", but we do the same thing spiritually all the time.

Deborah said...

Thank you for visiting my site today. I am looking forward reading Angie's book too.

I have to deal with fear that comes from worry daily. Sometimes its paralyzing. I just have to give it to God daily.

Beth said...

Ha...what a great post to read at 4am... perfect! My feelings of stupidity inhibited me from loving my job for many years... I let that part go about 2 years ago and man...what a change..now to trust and let it go on other levels....

Dianna said...

What a beautifully written post, Lisa. Isn't it wonderful when we realize that He gave us Proverbs 3:5-6 (just for starters) to help us draw closer to Him? When my body hit the floor the day I fell, the very first thing that came to mind was, "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart"...while that isn't always the way it works for me, I cannot begin to tell you the comfort it brought me then and continues to do so in my recovery.

Love you.

Barbara H. said...

In our early married days when my husband had a third shift job and I was paranoid about being safe alone at night, one morning I couldn't find my keys, looked all over, and finally found them -- still in the lock on the outside of the door, where they had been all night! It was as if God was saying to me, "See? I can take care of you even when you do dumb things."

I've probably wrestled with this fear most in relation to my kids -- fear that due to some oversight, neglect, or failure to teach or model something that they needed to know, they'll fail to be all that God wants them to be. But I have to remind myself that none of us gets through parenthood without mistakes and just trust that God will continue to work in and through them.

Just Me and My Halo said...

TRUST in the Lord ... the phrase that i most forget every day!

thanks for stopping by with your uplifting words!

Crystal

Sallie Belle said...

I so needed to read this. I am often caught in the same trap. I just finished Angie's book and can't wait for the study. The book opened my eyes to this topic. You have given me a reminder to Trust!

Cherry said...

Wow - such good thoughts. I identify with things you wrote, and was encouraged by your words. And I was reminded about this book study coming up very soon - maybe I should pick up the book!

Holly Walker said...

Great stuff! Hope you don't mind that I borrowed? ~Holly

Monica Sharman said...

Lisa, you make me smile.
Yeah...those "what if" kinds of thoughts that lead to fear. It's like having regrets for things that never existed and reminds me of the "Needless Regrets" chapter in John Henry Jowett's Things That Matter Most.
Those "what if" thoughts can really spiral out of control, for me. It's so hard to control thoughts!

tinuviel said...

Thank you! I worry about the same kinds of "stupid" mistakes and worried the exact same thing about my back (and that the doctors have missed something about the chest pain because I overlooked something I should have told them). SO glad to know you are in the trenches with me.

So you are reading the Bloom book? I'm on the fence.

May God grant you strength, perseverance, and healing for your back problems and insomnia. You have my empathy, and I'm so sorry you're hurting.

Jennifer said...

Lisa, so glad we will be able to walk through our fears together and find healing. Oh, I noticed you're reading Enemies of the Heart. It's amazing. My mom loved it as much as I did- I think she's on her second round. :)

Brian Miller said...

i hear you the fear of screwing up is very real and can bake us into a squat where we never really try much that might risk something...or really even just live...

Rebecca said...

I can so relate to this...being scared of doing something stupid or appearing stupid. Knowing that God is going to take care of me and my messes is a wonderful thing.

Jen said...

Rich wisdom here - there is nothing outside of God's redemptive powers.

ells said...

Just talking to a young girl today...fear... I love the honesty of your heart..."stupidity" in the heart of all women.
Thanks for being real...
Blessings~

Amy said...

Oh my, I can relate way too well to so much you share here. Good to remember the truth you share, "His grace covers stupidity, too." Breath of freedom and peace there.

Amanda @ wandering said...

Oh, I get this! I have been afraid of being stupid I think since the age of six. Thanks for reminding me about how BIG His grace is. That book sounds like one I should read.

Hazel said...

Thank you, Lisa for explaining many things I do not understand and do not know. For sure though I know I am stupid and make soooo many mistakes. Your words have a way of making readers think of God as the Friend to approach, trust and keep in touch with at all times.

Rosario said...

It's been quite a long time since I last browsed through Ann's blog. Today, I needed some encouraging words, and your post was just what I needed. I always enjoy your posts Lisa. Fear is a big issue in my life despite my knowledge that God is in control, there are still things I find hard not to worry about. I will be looking at that Fear study.

Lisa notes... said...

Hazel,
This is probably my favorite comment I’ve gotten all week. If I can help anybody think of God as more approachable, then I am very happy about that. Thank you for blessing me! You do that over and over. I thank God for you, and I pray for you, your kids, and your very interesting life!

Lisa notes... said...

Rosario,
I’m glad God sent you the encouragement you needed. You sound like me—even though you know God is in control and big enough to handle all your problems, there is still fear in your life. I pray that we can learn to move past that. I have seen some changes already this year, and I am praying for more. If you decide to do the Fear study, I will look for you there.

Rosario said...

I'm off to the store to get my copy of the book. I just posted my on Fear on my blog. I will be looking for you at the study also.

emily wierenga said...

oh lisa. i hear what you're saying. but you are not stupid. do you know this? truly, you aren't. you're just human :) and i'm so sorry for all of the pain you've had to go through. i wish i could take it all away for you. love em.

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