Fear is the most powerful emotion in the human experience! Maybe that’s why some love to sit through horror movies due to the extremely strong emotions they have as the villain surprises the victim. In that moment, the viewer’s heart races, an injection of adrenaline courses through their body and all their feelings come alive like few other times. All of the dictatorial regimes of history have relied as well on the power of fear to control their citizens. If the citizens don’t do what they dictate, then severe consequences will be the result. The simple fear of these consequences causes the people to be paralyzed against any action to overthrow the repression to which they have grown accustomed.
There are two types of fear, healthy fear and unhealthy fear. Healthy fear is anything that deeply concerns you leading to taking actions of self-preservation; unhealthy fear is the fear that paralyzes, incapacitates and depresses one’s emotions. An example of healthy fear is the fear to touch a hot surface on the stove for fear of the pain it will cause, reminding us the bad result that will happen if we do that. I want to focus more on unhealthy fear in this article.
There are also two major reactions to fear, fight or flight! When some are afraid, they react through aggression and anger attacking anything and everything around them at that moment. I’ve learned that the most dangerous, unpleasant people are really the most fearful people. There are others who are immobilized or paralyzed by fear, unable to move or advance from that moment forward.
When I take note of what I fear, why I fear and how much I fear most of the time my fears have been based on suppositions and circumstances that seldom are true or come to fruition. Something that helps me overcome fear is the acronym F.E.A.R.: False Evidence Appearing Real! Almost never are my fears realized as I come to know that I was afraid of something that didn’t actually exist or ultimately never happened like I expected. How many times have we been embarrassed when we act negatively out of fear of something that isn’t even true? How often have we missed great moments in our lives when we have been held back due to fear of unrealistic expectations?
As a formerly, fear infected person, one of my favorite passages in the Bible is found in 1 John 4:16-18 which says: “We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. By this, love is perfected with us, so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment; because as He is, so also are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love.”
I have learned from this passage that God, the perfect and all powerful heavenly Father and Creator of all there is, loves me! I know His love is unconditional and I can depend on Him at all times in all circumstances. It’s no longer true to me that He is wanting to punish me but instead is watching over me to protect, provide and guide me in life. As this truth goes deep into my heart, the fear that once controlled and affected me has no place to take hold. I encourage the reader to take a few minutes thinking about which fears have dominance in your life and evaluate whether those fears will actually ever be realized, especially in light of knowing that your Heavenly Father is a perfect father that loves you with perfect love. When we become more convinced of God’s love for us, then fears begin to disappear in our lives, giving place to freedom and joy!