The truth is, if we’re living from a posture of fear, we’re not only avoiding the fullness-of-life-now God makes available to us, but it’s possible we’re living in a place of disobedience and rebellion: Scripture is clear that fear is not for us to own; save the fear of God, it seems to me every other time fear is encountered in Scripture, there is a call or reminder to see that fear broken by God’s reality and activity. Fear positions us to be pulled away from God’s best.
How can we know if we’re living from a position of fear?
Here’s a bit of a ‘symptom-checker’ that I’ve found helpful, though I’m sure it’s far from exhaustive:
- Is my mind consistently drawn to (messy) hypotheticals? Does my mind wander from potential difficulty to possible challenge (not in a strategic thinking sense, but in a spiral of increasing anxiety)?
- Do I jump to the worst-case scenario? When a challenging situation arises, is my initial thought how bad things might become (more accurately, how bad I’m convinced things will become)?
- When something good happens, do I wait for ‘the other shoe to drop?’ Is there a sense of foreboding that accompanies seemingly undeserved or unforeseen ‘blessing’?
- Am I motivated to avoid losing rather than to strive for ‘winning’? Do my decisions and conversations focus on finding something that costs the least as opposed to what gains the most? Do I think in terms of self-preservation or advancement?
What ‘symptoms’ are missing? What would you add?
In the next post, we’ll look at ways to move to a positon of victory over fear.