Why Spiritual Growth Scares People

I learned a long time ago that the biggest inhibitor to our spiritual development is fear of others. Yes, part of it is the fear of ourselves, the unknown, the consequences. But the biggest one is the fear of the opinions of others.

freak people out cartoon by nakedpastor david hayward


Imagine living in a world where everyone who cared around you was cheering you on:

You go! Grow spiritually. Ask all the questions. We don’t care where it leads you because we trust you with your own journey. We are here to support you. Yes, we may feel uncomfortable sometimes because we don’t understand what you’re thinking, but that’s our problem, not yours. Everything will turn out fine because you can decide how to be spiritual.

Imagine having that kind of support. You wouldn’t be as frightened or nervous about processing your deconstruction. Would you?


We are so afraid of losing respect and reputation.
We are so afraid of losing our family and friends.
We are so afraid of losing our jobs.
We are so afraid of what they threaten us with…

That we either….

Hide our deconstruction
Delay it.

A lot of this is because most religious communities aren’t set up for spiritual progress, but for religious proficiency. What matters is not how deep you go and how mature you get or how wise you become, but how many verses you know or how much money you give or how sacrificially you volunteer.

Bottom line is: you’re going to freak people out. This is life. This is what differentiation and individuation look like. 

There is no other way.

In order to be you, you have to be not them.

You got this!

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