Maybe you’ve had friends tell you to pray more instead of worrying. Good grief!
Fear challenges us all. Maybe we’re afraid to take on a new adventure at work or home. Perhaps, we lie awake at night dreading bad news or we battle feelings of inferiority and anxiety.
As humans, we all fear losing control. Hey, as we age, even controlling our own bladder can seem like a prayer request. No wonder we all feel afraid sometimes.
Yep, some time or other, every Christian wonders if our faith is sub-par when we fight ongoing battles with fear.
Christians often feel guilty when we experience fear. Yet, God designed all our emotions for a good purpose. So, here is the crucial question: Is fear the opposite of faith?
Absolutely not! In fact, fear can be a good thing.
For instance, we all want our small children to exercise caution as they cross the street. Caution is just a word for mild fear. The dash board in our heart flashes, “Caution!” and we look both ways before crossing the street. No one thinks we are less spiritual because our dear moms instilled a healthy dose of caution in our hearts when we were small.
Knowing that God designed all our emotions, even fear, as a dash board to give us information can free us up to create strategies. Our new strategies may not give us complete control, but we can certainly take our life back from being dominated by fear. Talk about freedom!
Noticing fear in all its disguises is a great way to understand when our inner dash board is trying to give us crucial information. Anxiety, stress, dread, caution, apprehension, foreboding, panic, alarm, worry, nervous, butterflies in our gut, red flags; all are ways fear gives us a clue.
Of course, fear gets a bad rap because fear can cripple us. In fact, since faith is knowing God well enough to trust Him, fear is not the opposite of faith. Instead, recognizing when fear pops up is simply an invitation to faith. Fear invites to pause, seek Him out for wisdom, then take judicious action. The way we beat the heck out of fear is to Pause, Pray, Proceed. Rather than being the opposite of faith, fear is actually the door to faith. All it takes is the courage to face our fear and look to the One who designed fear to benefit us.
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I want to hear from you. How have you learned the value of healthy fear in your life? How have you learned to trust your gut?
Cathy Primer Krafve, aka Checklist Charlie, lives and writes with a Texas twang. Contact her at CathyKrafve.com.