We’re tempted to think our fears are useful, that they protect us from harm. Instead, fear does us more harm than good, as we see in this wise excerpt from Christine Caine’s Undaunted: Daring to do what God Calls You to Do.
Everyone fears something. Muggers lurking in dark alleyways. Losing your wallet — or, worse, your job, leaving you penniless. Automobile or airplane crashes… The sting of a poisonous insect. The ridicule of hecklers when speaking publicly. Rejection or disinterest upon meeting new people. Losing a child. Being abandoned by a loved one. Some of us fear failing. Others fear success…
Whether fear is subdued or strong, rational or irrational, the danger real or imagined, fear will always try to stop you, trip you up, and put your life on hold. Sometimes, just thinking about your fears can paralyze you.
Fear makes you miss out on the best in life
When you allow fear to dictate how you spend your days, you allow life to pass you by.
You can’t walk up a steep hill to see a beautiful sunset because of your fear of heights. You can’t bring yourself to go to the party because of your fear of crowds. You don’t join that Bible study because you fear having to read aloud after you were taunted for doing so long ago in school. You keep to yourself because you fear people will ridicule your size. You struggle with food for fear you’ll gain weight. You don’t date because you fear being rejected. You’re so terrified of spiders and bugs that you’ve never ventured to dig in the soil and plant that vegetable or flower garden of your dreams. You go along with a decision at work that you don’t believe in because you fear speaking up will set you at odds with the team or cost a promotion. You avoid commitments outside your home because you’re afraid if you aren’t with your teenager all of the time he or she might get involved in the wrong crowd. You marry the first person who asks you because you fear no one else ever will. You sleep with someone you’re not married to because you fear that unless you do, he or she will leave you and you’ll be alone.
When you let fear run your life, you close yourself off from anything that might hurt or cost or make you uncomfortable — including opportunities to serve God and claim his promises.
God calls you to serve with just what you have and just who you are — but because of fear of rejection, the homeless person on the street never receives the hope you were created to give. You don’t allow yourself to consider the mission trip you would love to participate in because you fear the unknown in a faraway land. The victim of trafficking stays bound, never experiencing the freedom you could have made possible. Your neighbor dies alone, never receiving your visit. The mother at your son’s football practice continues to drink every night because she has no one to talk to about her marriage problems. You languish alone and broken, unfulfilled, never experiencing what you alone were made to do — simply because of fear.
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy,” Jesus warned (John 10:10). Fear is a thief like that. But, Jesus went on to promise, “I have come that they may have life, and have
it to the full.”
To the full.
-From Undaunted by Christine Caine (@ChristineCaine)
Learn more about Christine Caine’s new book Undaunted: Daring to Do what God Calls You to Do
Q: Do you have a “favorite” fear that you believe protects you?
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