What are you afraid of? When I was very young I was afraid of clowns. To this day, I don’t remember why, but I remember the fear. I also was afraid of the dark. (Yeah, I was kind of a wimpy kid.)
No one wants to be afraid, but let’s face it…there’s a lot of things out there to fear. If we’re going to overcome our fear, we must first understand just what is feeding our fear. Let’s look at the three biggies:
- Over-identification with others’ fears. Fear can be contagious. If you’ve ever been around a fearful person, you know it doesn’t take long before you become more fearful about things.
- Over-emphasizing the probability of outside threats. Whether it’s weather patterns, stock trends, or over-seas conflicts, news channels tend to dissect a story and magnify every negativity, in order to fill their 24 hours on the air. If we’re not careful, news programing will actually program us to be more negative and fearful.
- Over-sensitivity to your own worries. Some people seem to be more easily swayed by negative emotions than positive emotions. Their sensitivity to fear is greater than their sensitivity to faith. They are more of an Eeyore than a Tigger when it comes to their internal workings.
Now a certain amount of concern is reasonable and needful, but if your fear tends to grow like “The Thing That Ate New York,” then there are two things you can do…
- Starve the fear. You have to restrict whatever is feeding your fear. You may need to reduce the amount of time you spend with fearful people. You may need to reduce your consumption of certain news channels or programming. You may need to reduce your own internal fears by arguing them into submission. Whatever it is, you have to starve out the fear.
- Feed the faith. You have to increase those things that override your fear. Hang out with more positive people. Watch more positive programming. Practice looking at the positive as much as the negative. (You might need someone to help you with this one.) It’s the old “Do not be overcome with evil, but overcome evil with good” approach. (Romans 12:21)
It won’t be easy. You’ll have to work at it. But you can train yourself. You can learn to show proper concern without being taken over by fear.
On another level…
Psalm 11, 12, and 13 talk about responding to the fear of uncertainty by focusing on the certainty of God. When you feed your faith in God, you end up starving your fear. Remembering His personal characteristics, His promises, and His power to keep those promises can help starve your fear and feed your faith. Yeah, I know it sounds too easy…like some kind of cliché or magic wand fix…but you’ll never know till you try.
What’s one thing you’ve found that helps you defeat your fear? Comment and share the wealth.
Copyright © 2014 Bret Legg