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Christian Living

Fear is not your friend

These are scary times. If you allow these times to be scary. 

The reality is that when you allow fear to creep in you are in big trouble.

Life is full of things that seem worthy of fear…

  • Big decisions like where to go to college, who to go out with, who to marry, having kids.
  • Big moments like telling your loved ones where you are going to college, who you are dating, that you’re getting married, or that you’re pregnant.
  • Pursuing big huge dreams and taking big huge risks to fulfill them.
  • Failure or being told your dreams aren’t going to be fulfilled.
  • Having a personal failure disclosed publicly.
  • Going broke, going hungry, or even having to move in with other people.
  • Relationships ending, you ending relationships, or relationships just accidentally ending.
  • Saying the wrong thing, at the wrong time, to the wrong people.
  • Unknown-ness.
  • Upcoming known stuff.
  • Unsafe things happening next door, in your house, or even on TV.
This list never ends, does it? We each, in our moments of vulnerability, have things we are afraid of.
Likewise, we each have things that we should be afraid of that we’ve learned aren’t all that scary because you’ve been there and done that.

A fearful state of mind

Over the years I’ve learned the biggest problem with living in fear of things beyond my control is that fear puts me in a state of mind which increases my ability to make stupid decisions. I remember one of my management mentors instructing me to use fear as a tool of manipulating people to do what I wanted. “When a person buys a car or a house or their spouse is pregnant, that’s when you change their job function or work hours. Why? Because they are so strung out financially that they will just deal with it because they can’t afford to quit.
That was stupid advice. Ultimately, I don’t want to manipulate anyone into doing something because they are afraid of the consequences. Fear is a short-term motivator. It’s helpful in an emergency, like when a building is on fire, but you can’t motivate someone to do their best work for years at a time over fear of a job loss.
In the same way, I do whatever I can to push fear aside. I don’t let fear of the stuff above scare me into a dumb decision. Instead, I push fear aside in those moments. Ultimately, it’s just an emotion and I have power over emotions.

What is worth fearing? (Not a rhetorical question)

More like who.

The Lord. The phrase “fear of the Lord” is found at least 135 times in the Bible.

Sure. That sounds cheesy right off the bat. But when you allow the reality to sink in that God is bigger, stronger, and in full knowledge of everything you face… it adds a new perspective on things I fear.

Ultimately, it helps me to know that fear of stuff doesn’t come from the Lord. Over and over again I read in the Bible, when God’s people were faced with impossible odds, “Fear Me alone.

Next to that? Everything else is unworthy of my fear.