Fear

100_2300Afraid, frightened, apprehensive, of something real or imagined

We should not let fear hold us back from pursuing our hopes. John F Kennedy

Do the thing you fear and the death of fear is certain.  Ralph W Emerson

The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.  Franklin D Roosevelt

Most of our fears are irrational. There is no rational or credible justification to them.  We are handicapped by them. They keep us from attempting, trying, and venturing into activities and challenges that are new. We fear the unknown, we fear failure, we fear rejection, and we fear pain. We can be so fearful we cower in the safety of our comfort zones. Much of what we fear is due to ignorance and lack of understanding.

Little children fear darkness. They fear the bogeyman and monsters hiding under their beds. As we grow older, we face fears of learning to ride a bike, swim, drive a car, go on dates, getting jobs and other challenges. We can look back and see how childish our fears usually were.  Adults replace childish fears with new fears that are just as childish and irrational. It is believed that our two greatest fears are death and public speaking.

Most of us are afraid to stand in front of people to speak because we fear stammering and stuttering and making a fool of ourselves. If anything, we actually gain the respect and appreciation of the audience for having the courage to get up and face our fear. The fear of death comes largely from the fear of the unknown. We fear what we do not know and what we do not understand. Many wise teachers and philosophers have advised us that there is no reason to fear death. It is a natural process and that life continues on the other side.

Fear holds us back in so many ways. The effect it has on us is so powerful; it is used as a weapon against us. It is used by dictators to oppress people. It is used in the work place. It is used by those in power to keep others afraid and under control. We use it against ourselves, hiding in our comfort zones, afraid and imprisoned.

Our fears do enslave us. To overcome them we must stand up and say “no more!” We must decide that living in fear is worse than the alternatives. We should rather deal with the consequences of whatever may happen than to continue to cower.  Once we decide to face them and take action, our fears will begin to depart from us. We will never be truly free until fear has no more power over us.

Challenge: Write down your greatest fears. List the reasons behind them. Name the worst things that could happen? How likely are they to happen? Could you live and survive if they happened? What would your life be like if this fear disappeared? Go through this process with each fear. They will lose some of their hold on you. Have the courage and confront one of them and say “no more!” Overcome fears with action. Most are irrational.

Wisdom: You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing you think you cannot do. Eleanor Roosevelt.

Spiritual: (NIV)

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  Philippians 4:6

I can do things though Him who gives me strength. Philippians 4:13

God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline. 2 Timothy 1:7

Fear keeps us from living up to our God-given potential. We were given talents and abilities to live life fully and successfully. The world promotes fear, doubt, worry, disbelief and a long list of life-robbing negatives that enslave us. God does not intend us to live this way. The Bible is full of promises of how rich and rewarding our lives can become if we will but turn these negatives over to Him and trust our well-being to Him.

Prayer:  Help me to overcome fear in my life. Help me to look to You for the strength and courage I need.

 

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