Fearless

The word "Fear" keeps popping up all around me this weekin emails, Facebook postings, songs, a speaker at my moms group, etc. I decided that if this word keeps appearing to me, it is for a reason, and I need to think a little deeper on it.

Fear is often said to be the opposite of Love. I believe that, because it is also known to many that you cannot experience Fear and Love at the same time. As I was thinking and digging, it dawned on me that in the Bible it says a whole bunch of the times that we are to "Fear the Lord"…hmmI always thought that was odd, because to me God is pure LOVEwhy would I fear LOVE? I then went to good old Webster and found this:

Fear (n) Profound reverence (honor and respect) and awe (wonder and admiration) especially toward God.

(So now Im confused that the word "fear" is used like thisseems opposite. But it makes sense to me that I shouldnt be "afraid" of God.)

I then found this:

1 John 4:18 There is no fear in love. Perfect love drives out fear.

(OK, that sounds more like it!)

 

There seems to be two meanings to the word Fear. The other definition I found in Websters Dictionary was this:

Fear (n) An unpleasant often strong emotion caused by anticipation or awareness of danger.

OK, thats the definition we all think of when we think of Fear. This is the meaning I will focus on today, because I think most people live with a great deal of Fear without even knowing it!

Most people think of the word "scared" when they think of Fearlike watching a scary movie. But Fear goes way deeper than that. Fear takes on the shape of many emotions, and if we dont recognize and redirect the Fear in our daily emotions, we may be shorting ourselves a JOYful life! Fear is disguised as many other emotions and comes out as such. Here is a short list of negative emotions that stem from Fear. This is not a complete list, but you get the idea. Have you ever felt:

Aggression, Anger, Annoyed, Depressed, Disappointed, Disgusted, Embarrassed, Envious, Frightened, Guilty, Helpless, Hostile, Humiliated, Hurt, Jealous, Miserable, Negative, Nervous, Paranoid, Puzzled, Regretful, Sad, Stubborn, Suspicious?

 

All these negative emotions are perfectly natural to feel, and are an essential part of our stepping stones to growth. These emotions are there to help guide us to a more healthy and JOYful life. The problem is a lot of people get stuck in these emotions. They get comfortable there. It is their normal. They live there, instead of analyzing why they have these feelings and pushing through them to reach higher, healthier emotionssuch as hope, joy, love, encouragement, etc.

Here is an emotional scale. If we all have the same goal in life to be happy and fulfilled, I would be safe to say that this scale is a good barometer. I know a lot of people who live in the higher numbers (17-22), but I dont know too many people who are happy to be there. Our ultimate goal is to be in the lower green numbers (1-6), because thats where all the goodness is!

 

Notice that Fear is at the bottom of this scale, the highest numbernumber 22in the Red zone (RED=DANGER). As I said before, Fear is the underlying cause of all the other negative emotions. Have you ever been fearful of failing, not being good enough, being misunderstood, being taken advantage of, another person, being let down, letting someone else down, losing, being cheated, being abandoned, not having your needs met, not being accepted, not being liked, being hurt, not having enough, not finding the perfect spouse, not being the perfect spouse, not being a good parent, not having good parents, being sick, death, etc.? We all have, and we all do. But, when we feel these fearful feelings, we habitually express them using unhealthy emotions.

A healthier way to deal with our Fear takes a little thinking and effort on our part. When we feel these negative emotions, we first need to become aware of themthen we can get to the real reason behind the emotionand we can ask ourselves, "What are we afraid of?" Then we can slowly work up the emotional scale! Even if we move from Revenge to Anger, that is progress!

Here is your challenge for the week. Its twofold:

1) Continue to Fear (honor, respect, and admire) God! Thats a healthy Fear!

2) Try to eliminate Fear from your life! When you experience a negative emotion, try to figure out from where it stems. If you are experiencing Worry, dig and dig until you find out what you are afraid of. Then you can try to move up the emotional scalesay, to Doubt. Keep working on it and keep trying to move upward!

Lets Be Fearless!

Comments

  1. Once again you hit the nail on the head, girl! Our society often mistakes the original meaning of the words we use. “Mad” for example refers to being crazy or insane in most other cultures, but of course we think of it as being angry. “Fear” is exactly like that as well. As you wisely state, we think of fear as being afraid – only one of its meanings. I am SO glad to see you clarify the biblical meaning and intention of the commandment that we are to fear the Lord. We are to revere and respect the Lord not be afraid of Him!!! So many ignorant people use the incorrect and unintended definition to attempt to dispute or simply reject biblical teachings.

    Thanks for posting the clarity. Now I’m “afraid” I have to go – HA!

  2. I’m learning so much from you. This is a very thought provoking subject. Thank you.

  3. Gigi Peterson says:

    I love how you put the Emotional Guidance Scale in this. I think it is a good way to look objectively at what we are feeling and help us to process those emotions. Thank you Deanna for another great lesson!!

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