Redeeming Productivity

When Fear Holds You Back

Published 3 months ago • 4 min read

Issue #156

Your weekly roundup of insights and resources to help you get more done for the glory of God.

Read on the Web

In Today’s Issue:

  • Some Thoughts on Fear
  • Getting Organized for the Glory of God
  • Atomic Habits for Bible Intake
  • Proverbs on Productivity
  • Book Recommendation: The Kindness of God

Dear steward,

I want to share a few thoughts on fear.

Specifically, this is for those of you who have something to say—maybe you want to write, make videos, start a podcast, or whatever. But fear of criticism or just having all those eyeballs scrutinize your work is holding you back.

Yesterday, I had the privilege of visiting Ligonier Ministries and sharing a presentation on Christian productivity with their staff. It was a very special opportunity for me as R.C. Sproul and Ligonier's resources had a profound impact on my Christian life.

In particular, Sproul's thoughts on a biblical conception of vocation, stewardship, and personal productivity were instrumental in shaping my own thinking on these subjects and eventually creating Redeeming Productivity. So it meant a lot to see that all kind of come full circle.

On the plane ride home last night, I was reflecting on all the neat ministry opportunities the Lord has blessed me with these past few years—meeting fantastic brothers and sisters in Christ, speaking, publishing books, and even just getting to do all of this full-time.

All of these opportunities can be traced back to the little decision to start publishing my thoughts online in 2016.

But it almost never happened.

Because of fear.

I first started writing online in 2011. But after an article I wrote went viral, I took the backlash I received very personally. It honestly wasn't even that bad, but I was young and thin-skinned (isn't it funny how one mean comment seems to outweigh 1,000 positive ones?). So, in fear, I shut my mouth. I stopped writing—for five years.

The whole time, it was like the Lord kept confronting me with Jeremiah 20:9 again and again,

But if I say I’ll never mention the LORD or speak in his name, his word burns in my heart like a fire. It’s like a fire in my bones! I am worn out trying to hold it in! I can’t do it!

I'm not claiming to be a prophet, but I did feel that the Lord had given me ideas to share with the Church. That in some way, He had called me to write. And my fear-based reluctance to obey was burning me up inside.

I had a thousand excuses, but I also had a lot of good friends and a great wife who finally pushed me to start writing again. And, boy, am I glad I didn't remain a slave to fear!

It's not always easy, and I still get my share of nasty comments. But I've got a much bigger folder of kind notes from people who say my writing pointed them to Christ, that it helped them get clarity on a thorny issue, or helped them become a better steward of some area of their lives for God's glory.

What I'm trying to say is that it's worth it.

It's absolutely worth it.

If the Lord has given you the desire to speak about Him and His Word, certainly be wise and get counsel from your elders (it's a serious thing to teach, see James 3:1). But don't let fear of man hold you back from obedience. Don't let it stop you from sharing your gifts with the Church.

And besides, who knows where it might lead?



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The best links I found this week

Getting Organized For the Glory of God (3 mins)

Justin Huffman

When the Bible clearly lays out a responsibility — whether financial giving, or evangelism, or discipleship — there is the implied responsibility to be as purposeful and organized as necessary to fulfill that biblical command.

Atomic Habits and Bible Intake: How Tiny Changes Add Up (5 mins)

Blake Glosson / The Gospel Coalition

This article applies some of the principles from James Clear's Atomic Habit to creating a consistent Bible-reading habit.

Like physical transformation, spiritual transformation is the gradual reward of consistent habits. Even when you don’t immediately feel the effects of your Bible intake, you can be confident your spiritual fitness improves little by little each time you engage with God’s Word.

Proverbs on Productivity (4 mins)

Kyle Johnston / Biblical Counseling Coalition

Johnston is beginning a three-part series on what the proverbs teach about productivity. This first installment is about diligence and it's really good!



Quote of the Week

The idea that service to God should have only to do with a church altar, singing, reading, sacrifice, and the like is without doubt but the worst trick of the devil. How could the devil have led us more effectively astray than by the narrow conception that the service of God takes place only in the church and by works done therein.... The whole world could abound with services to the Lord...not only in churches but also in the home, kitchen, workshop, and field.

Martin Luther


The Kindness of God

I had the honor of endorsing Nick Pickowicz's latest book, The Kindness of God: Beholding His Goodness in a Cruel World.

Here's what I had to say about it:

“A sweet encouragement for weary souls! In a world filled with so much suffering and cruelty, the message of The Kindness of God comes as a welcome balm. God is not withholding or reluctant in His goodness toward His people; He is kind. Pickowicz helps readers grasp just how thoroughly the theme of God’s kindness penetrates the Scriptures and overflows to every area of our lives. Highly recommended!”


Thanks for reading!

That's all for this week. If you want to chat about anything in this newsletter or want to say hi, you can just hit reply.

Reagan Rose

Reagan Rose

I talk about personal productivity from a Christian perspective. Creator of ​Redeeming Productivity​.

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