FEAR – an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain or a threat, or False. Expectations. Appearing. Real.
Scared yet? Don’t be. Here are some common practices to help us maintain a sound mind. There are both Biblical and practical ways for us to approach fear.
1. Seek Guidance
Nehemiah 1:4 – “When I heard these things, I sat down and wept. For some days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven.”
The reference was the story about Nehemiah, a wine taster for King Artaxerxes. How cool would it be to have a job drinking wine all day next to the most powerful man in the nation? Ultimately, it didn’t last long. Upon hearing news that his home town Jerusalem had been destroyed, he was asked to help rebuild it. Nehemiah was probably afraid and pretty satisfied with his current position. After intense prayer and seeking God, Nehemiah chose to go rebuild the wall. Not only did the King allow him to go, he also gave Nehemiah supplies and an entire army for protection.
“If it pleases the king and if your servant has found favor in his sight, let him send me to the city in Judah where my ancestors are buried so that I can rebuild it.”
We need to seek God on what we should do during moments of fear and confusion. Like Nehemiah, we can get uncomfortable when we feel like God is asking us to step out in faith. Nehemiah spent time in prayer when he was unsure of which direction to take. We gain favor and assurance to complete challenges when we pray. If we choose to listen and obey God, he will always provide provision and protection.
2. Push away Fear, Embrace Love
During a school marketing seminar, I had the privilege of hearing from the former CEO of Spy Optics, Michael Marckx. He is known for his “creative disruption” marketing method, and works at CSUSM part-time as a student advisor. He has had a intense history of overcoming fear. He has surfed 40 foot waves, hung over cliffs, and has been hit by a car 6 different times in his lifetime! During his lecture, he said something that really stood out to me,
“Push away fear, embrace what you love”
This is a great strategy in overcoming various types of anxiety, stress, or other “fear related” moments. During fearful moments, take a step back and analyze what is causing the fear to take place, and try to reevaluate your position. Mentally bring in and imagine all the things that make you feel love, and “push” away everything else.
1 John 4:18 (MSG) – There is no room in love for fear. Well-formed love banishes fear. Since fear is crippling, a fearful life—fear of death, fear of judgment—is one not yet fully formed in love.
“Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. The fearful are caught as often as the bold.” – Helen Keller
3. Face It Head On
We often find excuses to not do something. Actor Terry Crews highlighted the concept that our brain is hardwired to maintain instinctive habits and routines. When we make decisions that derail the habitual process, we can get scared or make ridiculous excuses not to do something. Only by trusting ourselves to explore new things that may seem scary, can we overcome the fear that tells us it’s not possible. Don’t wait to feel right about something before you do it. Trust yourself and make a decision!
“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 which you think you cannot do.”
– Eleanor Roosevelt