As I mentioned in detail on Monday, fear has been an ongoing issue in my life – specifically, fear of the unknown. Maybe you can relate? I have turned my back on some fun times and community building experiences because I did not know what to expect.
What’s over the next hill? It may be scary.
But, I think it’s fair to say that I can’t keep using fear as an excuse to put my life on hold. There are experiences to have and people to meet. More importantly, there are people out there who need to connect with someone. Why not me?!
The Bible tells us repeatedly to fear not. It is not always stated with those exact two words, but the message is there.
“I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”– John 16:33, ESV
“The LORD is my light and my salvation– whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life– of whom shall I be afraid?” – Psalm 27:1
“Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.’ So we can confidently say, ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?’” – Hebrews 5:6-7
If you are searching for a Biblical precedent for letting go of your fear, you don’t have to look hard to find one. It is clear that fear is not a fruit of the Spirit. In fact, 2 Timothy 1:6-7 tells us, “For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands, for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control” (ESV – emphasis mine).
There we have it, folks. The spirit of fear is not from God. The Holy Spirit cautions us, but He does not fill us with fear. Fear is a tool of Satan – to tear us down and to keep us from being effective in our work for Christ.
Has Fear Robbed You of Making Meaningful Connections?
There is no doubt in my mind that I have let fear keep me from pursuing friendships. I have friends for whom I am deeply grateful; yet, I know I have missed opportunities to connect with others – especially others that needed a friend – because I was uneasy about approaching them.
Have you experienced anything like this? Are there times you wanted to reach out to a potential friend, or a young man or woman who impressed you, but you walked away because you were afraid? If so, you are surrounded by people who understand. Rejection is scary. Failure is too. But, when we think of the worst possible scenarios, reaching out does not seem so frightening after all.
The friendship may not take off. That’s okay. There are other people who will like and need me!
He may not ever think of me romantically, but I can still say hello. Who knows? We may become friends or he may just need someone to brighten his day.
She may already be dating someone, but there is nothing wrong with reaching out to her and trying to make a connection.
Take Baby Steps:
- Pull out your Bible and do a study on fear. See what God’s word has to say about living in fear.
- Start memorizing some “fear not” verses.
- Get in touch with your own fears. Discover the root of your fears. Write down the truth that corresponds to each fear, and repeat them aloud daily until you truly believe them. “What if no one at this new church likes me? That fear is a lie from Satan. If I am kind and reach out, there will be someone(s) to connect with there. God has given me gifts and talents. I do have something, even if it’s just a listening ear, to offer to someone else.”
- Put yourself out there a little at a time. Go to the Bible Study. Attend the event. Join the ministry. Sit next to someone you don’t know and start a conversation.
Sometimes we will make a connection, and other times we won’t; but, we should not allow fear to keep us from trying.
Only God knows who we might meet and what we may accomplish if we will only cast off our fears, trust Him, and live life abundantly.
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly (John 10:10, ESV).
We will see you Friday for the conclusion of Fear Week. As Halloween approaches, consider the following question:
Does the world see the real me, or am I usually hiding behind a mask?