What’s Stopping You?

Photo by Maria Victoria Heredia Reyes

Faith on Friday (Episode Two)

There’s a story in the New Testament (The Book of Acts, Chapter 8 to be exact) about an Ethiopian political official who converts to Christianity. He’d made a pilgrimage to Jerusalem and was traveling home in an elaborate caravan. Just as he was making his decision, his chariot passed a body of water. Not being one to waste any time, he asked his companion, “What’s stopping me from being baptized?” (Paraphrase mine).

The answer was: “Nothing! As long as you’re a true believer.” Upon his profession of faith in Jesus, he brought the whole caravan to a halt, descended his chariot and was immediately baptized. Allow me to ask you the same question.

What’s stopping you?

It could be a step of spiritual growth, like baptism, or some other spiritual decision that you need to make. It could also be a step of personal growth that you need to take in your career, business or relationships. Whatever it is, you already know that you’re holding back. The question is, why?

What’s stopping you from being in the top percentage of people in your office, environment or field? What’s stopping you from showing up every day and changing the world around you for the better? What’s stopping you from cultivating great relationships?

Is it time? No. Money? A popular choice, but no. Contacts? Also negative. None of that is hindering you. Bookshelves and magazines are littered with people who did extraordinary things while lacking one of the above or all three. The only person stopping you is the person living in your skin. Beneath the pores, the the usual reasons are:

Fear. This could be fear of failure or success. You fear failing because of how you’ll look to others and you fear success for the same reason. The only way to defeat fear is to do the thing you fear. Get moving in the direction of your fears and watch them fade into the shadows.

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Permission. You’re waiting for permission to make a move. You don’t need permission to show up in your own life. You came into this world with talents, gifts and leanings that are God-given. That is the only permission slip you’ll ever need. You are hereby freed to be yourself.

Playing small. You’re living below your capabilities. My wife used to play small. She would act as if she were two levels less intelligent than she is in order to make others feel smarter. There’s a certain humility in that, but you can take it to an extreme. You can use it as an excuse not to shine — to stay seated when it’s time to stand. The next time you’re tempted to play small, remind yourself that you diminish yourself and the other person by withholding your gift.

Vision. You can’t see it. You’re laying low because you don’t have a clear picture of a preferred future. The great thing about vision is that it’s best when shared. If you don’t have a vision for your future, then borrow one. Get behind someone with an authentic burden and help them carry it. The law of reciprocity will work in your favor. What you make happen for someone else will come back to you in miraculous ways.

You have one life to live, and it’s not a dress rehearsal. You are the leading man or woman in your movie. Like the Ethiopian official, there’s nothing preventing you from halting the caravan and jumping into the water.

Come on in.

We need you.

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(You can read Faith on Friday Episode One by clicking this link)