One Man Versus Fear

by Christian Thomas Golden

Why do I fear?

My heart is racing, my hands are sweating, I don’t want to do anything but lay down and sleep (and maybe eat and drink).

I’m afraid of meeting new people. I’m afraid of saying something wrong. I’m afraid I will fail at work. I’m afraid people won’t listen to me. I’m afraid people will laugh at me. I’m afraid I’m a bad husband. I’m afraid I’m a bad friend. I’m afraid I don’t really know a damn thing. I’m afraid I’m not where I’m supposed to be. I’m afraid I’ll never be where I’m supposed to be. I’m afraid of doing the wrong thing. I’m afraid of looking stupid. I’m afraid I don’t make a difference. I’m afraid of being myself. I’m afraid I have no idea who I am. I’m afraid I don’t know who I’m supposed to be. I’m afraid I’m not who I’m supposed to be. I’m afraid I’ll never be who I’m supposed to be. I’m afraid I’ll be afraid for the rest of my life. I’m afraid I’m not supposed to be afraid. I’m afraid I’m paralyzed. I’m afraid I’ll always be paralyzed. I’m afraid of people looking at me. I’m afraid of people watching me. I’m afraid of people listening to me. I’m afraid nobody’s looking at me. I’m afraid nobody’s watching me. I’m afraid nobody’s listening to me. I’m afraid of procrastinating. I’m afraid of wasting time. I’m afraid of making decisions. I’m afraid of other people making decisions for me. I’m afraid of making the wrong decision. I’m afraid of someone else making a wrong decision for me. I’m afraid of making decisions for others. I’m afraid of making wrong decisions for others. I’m afraid I walk weird. I’m afraid I talk weird. I’m afraid I eat weird. I’m afraid I think weird. I’m afraid I won’t grow up. I’m afraid I haven’t grown up. I’m afraid to grow up. I’m afraid I’m immature. I’m afraid of failing. I’m afraid of falling. I’m afraid of climbing. I’m afraid of flying. I’m afraid of heights. I’m afraid of spiders. I’m afraid of being stuck. I’m afraid of being trapped. I’m afraid of being cornered. I’m afraid of being poisoned. I’m afraid of being devoured. I’m afraid I’m being devoured. I’m afraid I’m devouring myself. I’m afraid of disappointing. I’m afraid I’m disappointing. I’m afraid of being a disappointment. I’m afraid of being alone. I’m afraid of crowds. I’m afraid of closed-in spaces. I’m afraid of boundless freedom.

I’m afraid of letting go of fear, in exchange for the freedom, power, and responsibility that comes with being the man of God I’ve been called to be.

What is fear, but lack of faith? What is faith? The substance of things hoped for; the evidence of things not seen. Again, what is faith? Evidence of God. Who is responsible for employing faith? Man. What is man responsible for? Living as evidence of God. What is evidence of God? Faith. What is fear? Lack of faith.

There are two things of which I am confident. First, I am confident of the existence of God and believe that his character and will are exposed in the Bible and through prayer (and, subsequently, through the relationship with Him that grows thereafter). Second, I love my wife, my family, and my friends.

Now, I could ask God to help me with all of these fears (and I do on an almost daily basis). However, what if He did? What if God performed a little rewiring of my being so as to make it easier for me to overcome such fears? Would that really be any help at all? Where is the learning in that? Where is the growing in that? Where is the exercise of faith in that?

The truth? If God were to perform such rewiring, any “progress” over such fears from that point on would not be any indicator of faith, trust, power, or responsibility on my part. God is not in the business of robotics. God is Love. Love is willful sacrifice. Love is unconditional.

Well, then. What do I do? What hope have I in overcoming these fears? What hope does anyone have in overcoming anything? What do I do from this moment forward to ensure I am not living in fear?

Love. Love is willful sacrifice. Love is unconditional. God is Love. What can we offer God? What is our sacrifice? What are we to do unconditionally? What is the one commandment which embodies all the rest? Love. Love your God. Love others as you love yourself. How do we employ our love? Faith.

What is the antithesis of faith? Fear.

What drives faith? Love.

So, there are two forces at work: fear and love. These are the two sources from which we pull for each thought, action, and reaction.

How do we overcome fear? Faith, hope, and love. The greatest of these is love, for it embodies all the rest. We must think, act, and react out of love. As we do this more, we will fear less.

As I do this more, I will fear less.

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