One woman wrote me, “Fear has permeated every part of my life. Fear for my health. Fear of losing my job. Fear that what I believe about myself is true. Fear that my children will grow up and resent me. Fear that my marriage will fail. Fear that people will learn the ugly truth about me. Fear that I’ll never get better because I’m beyond repair. Fear that this pain will never end. Fear that my life will come to a tragic end. Fear of being punished by God for what I’ve done and for not letting Him into my life.”
When I read this I thought to myself, she has just summed up mankind’s greatest fears. A big component of the pain we feel is fear. No doubt, fear is immobilizing. Amy Carmichael wrote, “Have you ever thought how infectious fear can be? It spreads from one person to another more quickly and certainly than any of the fevers we know so well.”
Fear is complicated. It’s also an epidemic. It’s like a virus & strikes everybody—not just the weak & vulnerable. It can be transmitted to others—like our kids. Fear brainwashes us into thinking it’s protecting us but all it does is throw us in a personal prison of frustration & hopelessness.
It’s fear that makes us do crazy things. I bet you never thought of fear as a factor that makes people shallow, insecure, abusive, liars, loud & obnoxious, arrogant, pushy & anxious. That’s because fear morphs into an individualized survival mechanism—each of these characteristics are motivated by fear. People who act this way are seeking some way to protect themselves--even to advance themselves. But—rather than surviving or thriving --they’re slowly dying & destroying others in the process.
Most of us have never even thought about where our fears come from & how they developed. I’ll be honest with you: recognizing the way fear takes its form in our lives may be difficult; just as dealing with breaking it will be a challenge too. That’s because fear is subtle & takes on many forms. The process of breaking our fears will probably be messing. We may feel like we’re standing naked in front of the world—vulnerable & exposed. Saying good bye to some deep-seeded habits & thoughts can be risky—it leave us feeling more scared. But it can also be a stepping stone to a transformed self & a renewed faith.
I’m going to be doing a series on fear—on natural fear. Phobias, anxiety disorders, panic disorders—those are more specific which require a deeper level of research & discussion. On my BlogTalkRadioprogram, Every Body Matters, on Wednesday, I'm going to talk about are what I call the Seven Deadly Fears:
1. Fear of change/fear of the unknown (most common)
2. Fear of man
5. Aging--My real self
7. Suffering, death, disease
Then I will be talking about 'Fear of God' to end the series. You won’t want to miss a single episode!