7 Questions for Dealing with Fear
Is it a God-given or a man-made fear? - Fear is an emotion, and God can use it to keep you from harm. Is what you would be doing against God’s will for you or others? If it’s wrong to do, no wonder you are afraid. God may be trying to protect you. If you are continually making bad decisions in your life, then you’ll likely live in fear. You may not even be able to understand the emotion, but in my experience, it’s one way God draws His children to Himself. Failure to walk by faith, which is a sin by the way, can also bring upon the emotion of fear. If you’re fear is from God…obey God! That’s your answer every time.
Is it a rational or an irrational fear? - Consider whether you are basing your fears on fact or fiction. Are you making up the scenario of what could go wrong, or is the fear based on real information you have? Be honest with yourself here. If you’ve been making up the excuses, then dismiss them and proceed.
Is it probable or improbable? - The truth is that most of what we fear never comes true. Our mind is capable of all kinds of worst-case scenarios that keep us from moving forward. We shouldn’t allow fear in things that will probably never even happen to stop the progress God may want to bring in our life. The fact is, you may fail. But remember, failure is a part of building life experience. Unless you know you’re going to fail (which is highly unlikely), I suggest you move forward.
Can anything be done to diminish the risk? - We should attempt to diminish fear through planning and preparation as much as possible. There is nothing wrong--and everything right--about being prepared. I’m not motivated by fear, but I have an alarm system at my house. (And a shotgun!) If your fear is based on a lack of preparation, then get busy developing the systems and strategies to help you succeed.
Is what I’m fearing necessary or unnecessary? - Is this something you must address? If it’s a conflict you’ve been avoiding, for example, then the fear will only get stronger the longer you wait. The earlier you face the fear, the more likely you’ll get positive results. Sooner or later, the fear must be faced. What better time than now?
Is the fear personal or impersonal? – Are you afraid of your abilities or the reaction of others? Do you wonder if you have what it takes? It’s only natural that a challenge would create an amount of fear…even a captivation with fear. Every act of courage means you ignore an aspect of fear. Don’t let your insecurities keep you from achieving your dreams.
Are you satisfied with the status quo? - I know it’s a hard question, but if fear is keeping you from moving forward, and you’ve answered the other questions, then this may be the one. You need to strongly consider the repercussions of giving in to your fear. It may mean you stand still. It may mean you go backwards. It may mean you never realize the dreams you have for your life or the calling God has placed upon you. Are you willing to live with that?
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