“Fear not, for I am with you, be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you I will uphold you with my victorious right hand.” ~ Isaiah 41:10
A few weeks ago, our senior pastor, Rev. In Jin Moon, spoke about surrendering our fears to God. She focused on four points of fear which can incapacitate and almost paralyze us.
Here are the four fears:
Fear of change, choice, failure, and loneliness.
We are all very familiar with these fears. Someone said that fear stands for: false evidence appearing real. It is often our perception of a certain situation which induces fear. In our journey of life we discover that we are here to grow, to explore our potential. Every generation is faced with opposing traditions and new ideas; in the process we have created a rich history. Many a man has discovered at one point in live that there are no shortcuts in life. Once we learn the rules of life it can be a game but we still have to play it. It is in the action that we can overcome our fears, gain confidence and develop our potential. We make decisions about who we are, what we believe, and what we are capable of. When we can accept ourselves with all of our shortcomings, including our fears, we can take responsibility for who we become.
“The only thing we have to fear is fear it-self - nameless, unreasoning, unjustified, terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance." ~ Franklin Delano Roosevelt - 32nd American President (1882-1924)
Rev. Moon encouraged us as parents and leaders, to look for the good, the ideal, and the right things and make a list of suggestions of those to our children, and those we are responsible for. All too often we point out what’s wrong and what they can’t or shouldn’t do, rather what to do instead. Again, with God all things are possible. By trusting and believing in our children we can give them the confidence to face their fears.
"All truth passes through three stages: First it is ridiculed, Second it is violently opposed, Third it is accepted as being self-evident." ~ Arthur Schopenhauer, German philosopher, (1788-1860)
Fear of Change
It is the function of the subconscious mind to keep us safe and secure. Any time we try something new, something different, we first have to deal with the resistance and the warnings of our internal recordings. By the time we are 6 years old, we have been “programmed” by our parents, families and other sources “to be a certain way,” based on our cultural, societal, religious, and/or family background. Watch what happens when you go against the grain of any of their standards, rules or traditions. It doesn’t matter if it is science, medicine, or a new way to do the dishes, you will get grief from your supervisors, parents or friends. You will hear: we never did it that way, or it can’t be done; nobody ever has achieved that, or you can’t do that to us after all we have done for you. Change will always meet with resistance first. After a while people get used to it and then it becomes a new habit.
“If you want to make enemies, try to change something.” ~ Woodrow T. Wilson – 28th American President of the United States (1856-1924)
Fear of Choice
Choice is our God-given right. It is that right that every human being has, knowing it or not. You can feel like a victim or a victor. It is a matter of decision. We all feel insecure or doubtful at times. That’s where our choice comes in; we must believe that God is there with us in all circumstances. Which leads us to the other fear – fear of failure. Even if we make the wrong choice, with faith in God, it can become a stepping stone and a learning experience. Good decisions can only come from experience. The wisdom we gather becomes the cornerstone to growth and progress. Once we learn the lesson, we can move on.
“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” ~ Victor Frankl, author of Man’s Search For Meaning (1905-1997)
Fear of Failure
A while ago, I wrote an article on Failing Forward. Because of the fear of failing, we get paralyzed to make decisions. No choice, no matter how “wrong” is a failure, if we make it with the right heart. In other words, if we not only decide with our mind, but with a heart of gratitude and attendance to our heavenly parent, every decision can be “failing us forward.”
“If you want to succeed, you have to live with more failure.” ~ Og Mandino, American author and philosopher, 1926-1996
Fear of Loneliness
Some of us might be extremely shy, and therefore not intermingle easily. I always told myself, nobody is going to knock on my door, to get me to come out. By being proactive, loneliness becomes a choice. Some people have a heavy emotional baggage which prevents them to reach out. Again, with God on our side, there is help. Often, solitude with God will strengthen our faith.
No man is an island, we all need somebody. With three little words, we can get the assistance we need: I need help. With some humility and faith, we can get over the fear of loneliness. There are counselors, friends, and other professionals who can liberate us from the turmoil of being alone.
“Language … has created the word “loneliness” to express the pain of being alone. And it has created the word “solitude” to express the glory of being alone.” ~ Paul Tillich, German born American Theologian and Philosopher (1886-1965)
So it is with all fears. We need to bring the fear from our heads to our hearts. With feelings of love from our Heavenly Father, we can dissolve all fears. We just need to look for good instead of terror, feeling love instead of fear, and feel the gratitude which can transform our lives. By surrendering our fears to God, we may still feel some anxiety at times, but by that time we have new habits of praying, and asking for help to “face” the fears and they will melt away.