For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.
– 2 Timothy 1:7
I think, like most people, I have a complicated relationship with fear. As we all know, some fear and some fears makes a lot of sense and are rather useful. Take the example of standing too close to the edge of a cliff that has no guard rail. For an experienced rock climber, or gymnast, or someone who does parkour, standing close to the edge of a cliff would be a less fearful experience than for someone who suffers with vertigo, or is on crutches, or is a klutz like me. Proper fear, when paid attention to, can keep us out of dangerous situations.
However, there are some fears which are irrational, or far too deeply held than they need to be and these fears can be unhealthy and debilitating. I looked up some of the more extreme fears or phobias:
- Sidonglobophobia – fear of cotton balls
- Verbophobia – fear of words
- Lachanophobia – fear of vegetables
- Arachibutyrophobia – fear of peanut butter sticking to the roof of your mouth
- Xanthophobia – fear of the colour yellow
- Philophobia – fear of love
- Linonophobia – fear of string
- Kakorrhaphiophobia – fear of failure
- Ecclesiophobia – fear of going to church
All of these fears are debilitating in their own way. Some of them could even be devastating, such as the fear of love. And, as peculiar and irrational as many of these fears seem, they are very real for those who experience them.
The following are two quotes that sum up the impact of fear very well:
Too many of us are not living our dreams because we are living our fears. – Les Brown
Fear is an experience-crushing, success-stalling inhibitor inflicted only by yourself. – Stephanie Melish
So, if we go back to the scripture at the start of this reflection, it states very clearly in the bible, that we haven’t been given a spirit of fear. In fact, we have been given power, love and a sound mind. These are the tools that work towards overcoming the fears that can ensnare you. Overcoming fear, especially the all encompassing ones, can be difficult, but we shouldn’t surrender without a fight. We need to face our fears and accept that we have power, love and a sound mind working for us. Anyway, come out this Sunday, for a message that I am sure will help us in dealing with fear.
The Sunday Gathering is back at The Journey for Sunday, October 6th. 10:30am for Food and Friends and 11:00am for Worship and Inspiration.