Performance Anxiety

I used to get very nervous when doing something for the first time…especially if I sensed that others were watching me.  That type of performance anxiety usually goes away if I have done it before.  That brings me to our Bible text this week:

And he asked them, “What are you arguing about with them?” And someone from the crowd answered him, “Teacher, I brought my son to you, for he has a spirit that makes him mute. And whenever it seizes him, it throws him down, and he foams and grinds his teeth and becomes rigid. So I asked your disciples to cast it out, and they were not able.” Mark 9:16-18

This is a unique situation.  The disciples (except for Peter, James and John) have been left without Jesus and a man approaches them to heal his son.  They try and are unsuccessful.  Unfortunately, this was a public failure.  By this time, everywhere Jesus or His disciples when would gather quite a crowd.  Their inability to help turned into a public argument.  

Yet, they had been able to do things like this in the past.  In Mark 6:7-13, Jesus sent them out in pairs and they were able to do all that Jesus had done.  What was the difference?

It may be that they felt alone or abandoned because Jesus went up the mountain with the other three disciples and not them.  When we focus on the wrong things in life we find ourself unable to perform some tasks that might even be common.  Sometimes, our inability to serve can be an attitude problem.  

It could be that their faith had lessened after hearing the message from Jesus…that He must suffer and die (Mark 8:31-33).  Jesus points out that it is a faith problem when he calls the generation faithless. Sometimes, our inability to serve can be a faith problem.

Later, Jesus tells them that these types of problems are only dealt with by prayer.  Prayer allows us to lay our burdens and problems before Holy God.  Prayer also aligns our will with His.  Sometimes, our inability to serve can be a prayer problem.  

Don’t find yourself with a problem with attitude, faith or prayer.  Each of these three can effect the other and can effect you!