Do not give way to fear. (1 Peter 3:6)
The reason we fear to step out is because we know that it might not go well (is that an understatement?). We have a history of wounds screaming at us to play it safe. We feel so deeply that if it doesn’t go well, if we are not received well, their reaction becomes the verdict on our lives, on our very beings, on our hearts. We fear that our deepest doubts about ourselves as women will be confirmed. Again. That we will hear yet again the message of our wounds, the piercing negative answers to our Question. That is why we can only risk stepping out when we are resting in the love of God. When we have received his verdict on our lives—that we are chosen and dearly loved. That he finds us captivating. Then we are free to offer.
You could say that people did not respond very well to Jesus’ love, to his stepping out in faith and playing the role that was his alone to play. And that would be a ridiculous understatement. The very people that Jesus died for hurled insults at him, mocked him, spat at him, crucified him. Jesus had to trust his Father profoundly, with his very being. Peter uses him as our example saying, “Follow in his steps ... He did not retaliate when he was insulted. When he suffered, he did not threaten to get even. He left his case in the hands of God” (1 Peter 2:21–23 NLT). Or, as another translation has it, “he entrusted himself” to God. He was okay. He entrusted himself to God.
A few verses later Peter says, “In the same way ... do not give way to fear” (3:1, 6). Jesus lived a life of love, and he invites us to do the same. Regardless of the response.