I have been dealing with and facing my own fears lately. As I face these fears, I am learning many truths that I have not faced in my past. The following blog comes out of what I am learning about myself and fear.
Fear is at the root of every failure, every doubt, every bit of unbelief, distrust, sadness, dislike, and every other negative reason for anything that we are not pleased with, pretty much. Every negativity can be traced back to a root cause named fear. Even if it is identified as some other term, exposure of that term will reveal fear.
Everything that we desire but do not have has not been fulfilled because of fear. Every dream that did not materialize was affected in some way by fear. We may give a hundred other reasons why we do not have a particular desire or dream fulfilled, but when reduced to its lowest commons denominator, it is fear.
Dr. Myles Munroe said there is more untapped potential in the cemetery than anywhere else. The reason that untapped potential is there is because of fear. Fear of failure, fear of being unworthy, fear of not being smart enough, or good enough, or pretty enough, or being alone, or being disappointed, abandoned, criticized, judged, called names, unlovable, exposed, rejected, known and on and on it goes.
This is a grave and heavy truth that we carry. It is not what we are willing to speak about. We fear being known because we might be judged or criticized or end up alone. These are all because of fear.
Every negative emotion, feeling, belief or action is rooted in fear. This is truly the great evil on this planet. We think sometimes that it is the people or the devil. Even the devil gets blamed for many things that we are afraid of admitting actually came from us. It is all based in fear. The traceable root of all evil is fear.
When I fear being alone, I will accept many other forms of negativity in my life so that I don’t have to face the fear of loneliness. I will live in unhappy arrangements. I will accept being mistreated and even accept abuse when I fear being alone. The greatest fear within me will prevail even if I give it a different label or hide it behind a more palatable reason. The basis or the root reason will still be fear.
Almost every reason we say no to in life is based in fear. We may say it is because “I don’t want to” or “I don’t like it” or a very acceptable and understandable “I’m just not feeling it” but somewhere lurking behind all the different curtains of no is a deep seated fear camouflaged as something else.
Sometimes the fear has been planted and programmed so deeply and has been there so long, it is no longer identified as fear. It has years of mis-identification and has come to believe itself to be the name it is called. I grew up saying that I hated eating okra. The truth is I had never eaten okra because when it was introduced to me, I rejected it. I was afraid I would not like it because of its appearance in texture. And as I write this, I am mindful that I used the term “I was afraid I would not like it.” Over the years I have deceived myself into believing that I do not like it when in truth it wasn’t dislike, it was fear.
We constantly speak of the fear, but do not acknowledge it, nor are we mindful of it. Subconsciously, we speak the truth of our fears while consciously rejecting those same truths and deceiving ourselves into believing our own lies. We live in a world of fear and a world of fear lives in us.
We do not enjoy living in our world of fear nor do we enjoy the fear living in us. However, we accept it and live with it as long as we can justify it as a healthy fear. It must be a fear that keeps us safe and from harm; then it is acceptable. Otherwise, we give it another name.
The fears that we disguise are fears that we fail to face. How can we face the fears that we have repackaged and relabeled? How do we bring ourselves to say, I chose not to accept the new job offer because I was afraid I would fail or because everyone seemed to have it all together and I feared I wasn’t good enough? How do we admit the truth that precedes the secondary or justifiable reason?
Jesus said you shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free. We ignore the truth and allow ourselves to be held captive to our fear. Facing and speaking our fears will set us free. When we can admit that the truth is “I am afraid of rejection” rather than “I am not interested in him/her” we will be liberated.
We face the truth of fear when we can speak the truth of fear. Speaking the truth of the fear exposes the fear to the light rather than keeping it hidden in darkness. Darkness feeds fear and empowers it because fear is dark. When fear is exposed to the light, it can no longer hold its negative power of darkness over us. The light empowers us and sets free everything captured by the darkness, including our fear.
God grant me the strength and the grace to face just one of my fears today. Shine the light upon it and set me free to walk in the light of truth. Amen