I am a very fearful person. I worry about everything; my future, my appearance, my finances, whether or not that mole on my leg is getting bigger. There have even been time when I had to sit down and just breathe because I was so paralyzed with worry. Over the years, I’ve had help learning how to manage my anxiety. Good friends have lent me a patient ear, while family members have reminded me that the most common phrase God used in the Bible was “fear not”.
Fear and worry can consume you if you’re not careful, and it’s important for Christians to surround themselves with a solid support-system. Still, not all fears should be considered bad. In a recent article, Trillia Newbell explained how some fears actually guide us toward wisdom. She begins by listing a few things Christians shouldn’t be afraid of,
Fear of Not Measuring Up
“Failure is difficult to face. It’s hard in relationships, work, and the rest of life. We want to do everything well, but the problem is that often our measures aren’t healthy. We either use the world’s measure for greatness or use what we presume others think we should be doing (fear of man sneaking in here, too).
One remedy to this fear is embracing that we don’t measure up, but Jesus does. He is our measure, and he satisfied every failure.”
Fear of Future
“The future is unknown, and it’s difficult not knowing what’s next for us and our loved ones. When and how will we all die? Will our kids become Christians? Will our marriages survive the tumultuous years?”
“We don’t and can’t know, and it seems like it would be easier if we could simply be in control of everything and everyone. We want to be little gods. One remedy is to remember the character of God — He is good, sovereign, wise, and loving. We can also pray — we don’t have to sit around waiting, we can ask God for good things.”
Newbell explains that these fears are designed to tear us down. They rob us of joy and freedom while distracting us from God. We need to take these concerns to the Lord, remembering that He is in control and will provide for us. Healthy fear, she explains, does not pull us down but instead builds us up. That is why we are told to fear the Lord.
The Fear of the Lord
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. The Scriptures tell us that we are to fear the Lord above all things. The fear of the Lord isn’t likely the fear that you might be thinking of. It’s not a fear that calls us to be afraid of God — as if he is a tyrannical monster.”
“It’s an awe, reverence, and honor of God. It’s an acknowledgement of his holiness, and our response as a result of that holiness is worship. We grow in the fear of Lord by reading His word, praying, and worshiping.”
What about you, can you separate your good fear from the bad? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
**Ryan Duncan is the Entertainment Editor for Crosswalk.com