THE POWER OF FEAR
All of us experience fear. In fact, we are born with just 2 fears;
Fear of falling and fear of loud noises. The rest of our fears are learned.
Merriam‑Webster online Dictionary defines fear this way;
1 : an unpleasant often strong emotion caused by anticipation or awareness of danger.
2 : anxious concern
3 : profound reverence and awe especially toward God.
4 : reason for alarm: danger.
A healthy fear is one when we perceive danger; you are driving along when a driver up ahead does something unexpected and you have to take evasive action. Adrenaline kicks in and instinct takes over as we enter the fight or flight mode.
A healthy Fear of failure turns into determination to succeed. Unhealthy fear can keep even the most bright among us from achieving goals or living a life of happiness and success.
Unhealthy fear can overwhelm, paralyze and cripple a person emotionally and effect them physically as well with such things as anxiety attacks, depression, etc.
I have a friend who is single and middle-aged. Her only dependents are an aging dog and a cat. She lives with a lot of regret and fear, hates her life, feels trapped and stuck. But when given opportunities to change her situation she continually chooses to not step out of her comfort zone. Fear of the unknown and fear of change have control of her. Being stuck and unhappy has become her identity.
When I was kid, my parents got drawn into an unhealthy religious group that turned even more unhealthy with time. Fear and manipulation were the key tactics to control its members. We taught: we are the only ones with the truth. We are special. God gave us information that no one else has, we are above others. We, the Chose Few, must sacrifice more. Once you have the truth, you cannot leave or reject the truth (God). To reject this truth (God) is a death sentence. The devil will attempt stop the truth. Give all you have….or else.
Be afraid, in other words. Live in mortal fear of God.
When fear is ingrained, it takes a lot of will to shake loose from its clutches. Letting go of the past and reaching for the future is hard. Unlearning lies is hard.
If, as I was, you were raised in an environment where God was portrayed as a mean guy sitting up there on that throne looking down and just waiting for you to mess up so he can smack you down, that you will never be good enough, etc., a lot of healing needs to take place before fear is replaced with hope and love. People who are stuck in fear don’t need others to beat up on them. Trust me, they are already doing that to themselves. They need healing and freedom from the past and a new hope for the future. If you want to help them, start with praying for them and showing them unconditional love. Be the example of what a true loving God looks like. Be that light they need.
The phrases FEAR NOT, DO NOT FEAR or BE NOT AFRAID are used over 110 times in the Bible. God does not want us trembling and fearful, bowed down and whipped.
2 Timothy 1:7 ESV / For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.
Joshua 1:9 ESV / Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.
Wherever fear is, trust and love will not survive.
Where Trust and Love are present, fear must flee.