Growing Passion – Shrinking Confidence (Living with Tension)

On my social media accounts, I posted this photo


This was the scene of a very tragic situation… writer’s block 



Have you even experienced that? You have an idea of what you want to write but you can’t seem to find the words?

I just felt stuck!

I was in the midst of working on a paper for my Ph.D. class and I just could not focus.

When brief moments of clarity arose I was then faced with another challenge. This challenge is even more crippling than writer’s block…

How do you handle tension? Most of us don’t like it.

Tension, in this case, referring to mental or emotional strain is a natural part of life. At some point, you will have to wrestle through a challenging circumstance which causes a bit of pressure.

The tension I currently face is that of my passions growing while my confidence seems to be shrinking.

My writer’s block didn’t derive from an inability to think of the correct words to use but rather from the ability to have confidence that what I wanted to write was good enough.

I am learning to live with this tension. My passion for the Greek New Testament (GNT), what I was writing about in my paper, is growing rapidly. I am finding myself falling more in love with linguistics, grammar, syntax, and several facets of this language. However, the tension that exists is that I “feel” absolutely underqualified when it comes to the GNT. For some reason, I clam up. When I need to express a thought or idea on the subject I lose all clarity. No matter how many books I’ve read or how many times I have actually verified that what I am saying is correct.

I am learning to live with this tension and not be destroyed by it. Tension isn’t necessarily evil. Understanding that both my passion and lack of ability are two truths that need to be kept in proper perspective.

On the one hand, while my passion is growing it doesn’t mean I know it all. I am not likely to find a “new” approach to teaching  Greek nor am I going to change our GNT in any way. This passion pushes me to stay connected to these particular words. It compels me to ask better questions so I may find better answers. When I feel like giving up it is my passion for God’s word in the original language that brings me back.

On the other hand, lack of confidence as taken a toll on my soul. It has collected a fee every time I read the GNT and it seems like the cost keeps rising. There have been moments where I can’t shake the lies I hear which tell me to not even bother with this. That what I know is wrong and inadequate. The diminishing certainty in my skill set has stopped me from writing a number of projects in the past. It has cost me speaking opportunities as well as letter grades on assignments. This voice has enslaved my heart and chained it to unproductivity and bitterness.

Nonetheless, I am learning to live with this tension. Although a lack of confidence can destroy me the healthier alternative is to understand that I continue to learn and need not be presumed an expert on these things. I am realizing that perfection is not the goal. I’d rather be identified by other qualities such as thoroughness, hard work, consistent improvement, and humility.

My passion is there to ignite the flame while I hold in perspective that I need not burn the brightest instead I am just called to burn brightly.

Finding balance on this emotional teeter-totter is easier said than done but I believe it can be achieved. A constant battle will ensue but tension isn’t necessarily evil.


In fact, it allows me the opportunity to listen to God’s voice knowing that what I am hearing outside of Him has potential to lead me in all kinds of wrong directions.

How do you handle this type of tension? How do you navigate these kinds of issues on your journey in life? What other types of “tensions” do you face?


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