10/31/07

Kick Out Fear!

“BOO!” I remember walking the neighborhood on Halloween night as a five year old. A prankster teen from down the block jumped out of the bushes and scared me, and I wet my pants. I was terrified! Halloween is a holiday geared not only to “fun” activities, but also, in many cases, to generating sheer terror.

But we don’t need Halloween to experience fear. Ann Landers, the famous newspaper counselor, said many of the 10,000 letters she received each month dealt with fear. A well-known doctor said 90 percent of the chronic patients that physicians treat daily have one common symptom. They are afraid!

Fear is a God-given emotion to protect us, but it becomes a problem when we have too many fears, or they become irrational. Most of the things we fear never even happen; and often, we can cause our fears to come to pass by dwelling on negative thoughts! Some fears, rooted in the past, become unreasonable and controlling. Other fears are conditioned or learned from others. And still others are real and authentic fear-causing circumstances.

We need to learn how to kick out our fears. We must be transparent and admit the truth about our fear so God can set us free (John 8:32). We can learn to control our actions, in spite of our fears. It’s a choice. Imagined fears are often based on lies or false conclusions, so examine what you are thinking and believing, and see if it lines up with reality and scripture. If fear is a constant anxiety, a Christian counselor can help to uncover the root cause, direct your thoughts and heart to the power of the Word of God, and help you rest in the presence of God. Sometimes, we need to change the circumstances that cause us to fear. For example, it’s pretty foolish to watch horror movies if you are inclined to nightmares! Or if you fear being alone, reach out to others.

Regardless of your fear, the best choice to overcome fear is to love and trust in God (I John 4:18; Proverbs 29:25).

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