Doctor of Leadership in Global Perspectives: Crafting Ministry in an Interconnected World

What’s that song? … The Second Time Around

Written by: on January 27, 2023

Anxiety Disorder:

Separation anxiety (f93.0)

Developmentally inappropriate and excessive fear or anxiety concerning separation from those to whom the individual is attached.

Selective mutism (f94.0)

Consistent failure to speak in specific social situations in which there is an expectation for speaking despite speaking in other situations.

Specific phobia (f40.248)

Marked fear or anxiety about a specific object or situation.


Marked fear or anxiety about one or more social situations in which the individual is exposed to possible scrutiny by others.

Panic Disorder (f41.0)

Recurrent unexpected panic attacks. A panic attack is an abrupt surge of intense fear or intense discomfort that reaches a peak within minutes.

I spent two years learning that these are some of the individual types of anxiety and criteria that are used to diagnose an individual with anxiety. But not one of these is the inherited anxiety that the author frequently speaks about in his writing. At first glance, the book seemed a bit harsh and out of character for a Christian. But as I reviewed it again, I begin to see some truth in some of his theories.

I lived 29.5 long years under the roof of my parents. One of my parents is live and let live the other one is what one would call a worry wart. I moved away, but not too far because of the fear and anxiety that my mother had instilled in us throughout the years. From the fear of being fired from your job to the fear of dying if you were adventurous, these all were readily available to my siblings and me daily. I didn’t blame my mother though for her reactions. I knew that she saws us as her precious gifts from God.

Outside of my mother’s teaching, I have learned that some of what was taught has hindered me. The anxiety that the author describes does creep up in important places and in important decisions. I now question whether it has delayed some of my leadership opportunities. Has that fear stopped me from reaching my greatest potential? And have I overcome or am I still living with those fears? My faith says I cannot miss out on anything that God has for me. My faith also says that my steps are ordered.

The author would probably answer my questions positively “YES”. Though I would not agree wholeheartedly, I would agree that the character that he is potentially wanting a person to be is not who I want to be. Fear or anxiety may be present at times but in my heart love remains. I am a true believer that sometimes we must put down the statistics of what works and lead with our hearts. I may be failing to thrive in the eyes of some but pleasing God is my greatest desire.

Friedman, Edwin, and Peter Steinke. A Failure of Nerve, Revised Edition: Leadership in the Age of the Quick Fix. 10th Anniversary, Church Publishing, 2017.

Rotta, Wera. Desk Reference to the Diagnostic Criteria From DSM-5 by American Psychiatric Association Paperback. Independently published, 2022.

Ibid: pg.115

Ibid: pg. 116-117

Ibid: pg. 118

Ibid: pg. 119

About the Author


Shonell Dillon

A daughter of the KING of kings and the LORD of lords. A lover of LIFE!

5 responses to “What’s that song? … The Second Time Around”

  1. mm David Beavis says:

    Hi Shonnell,

    Thank you for sharing this honest post! Yes, I think Friedman is overly harsh, but I think he may be doing it intentionally (I can’t know for sure, but that’s my guess). But I agree with you that though things in life may look like a set back, with have a God who is greater than our setbacks, and he makes set backs set ups for what He wants to do in our lives! I’m thrilled I get to be in this cohort with you Shonell! “I may be failing to thrive in the eyes of some but pleasing God is my greatest desire.” Yes, yes and amen. This is powerful.

  2. Hi Shonell,
    Thanks for sharing about the different disorders. I agree with you as Christians, we need to remain careful not to take the cues for this world as if we are of the world. It is a blessing to have loving and caring parents.

  3. Tonette Kellett says:


    Your heart is where it should be – pleasing God is your greatest desire. This is the best line in your post!!! It matters not what others might think. Only what our Lord thinks. Press on to win the prize!

  4. Shonell – I, too, struggle with some of Friedman’s points in light of our Christian call to love others, but I think it’s a good struggle:) In terms of you potentially missing out on leadership opportunities due to fear, I want to encourage you that God WILL NOT let you miss the future He has planned for you. In His timing, HIS plan will unfold for you!

  5. mm Chad McSwain says:

    Thank you for being so transparent. I’ve often wondered if I missed out on opportunities or would have made different choices if I had been in better emotional or mental health or even more maturity at certain points in my life. Then I focus on that I would not be who I am today without the experiences and even potentially lost opportunities. I always come back to the belief that God is more concerned about who I am than what I do, so all I can do is keep growing by learning to love myself and others in the process. Friedman challenges me to let go of the emotional control I’ve allowed others to have on me whether its decisions or how I feel about myself on a particular day. It might be harsh, but I’m willing to create more emotional distance with those who have less stake in the outcome of what God is shaping in my life. Thank you for sharing such a personal part of your journey.

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