Calling Fear a Sin
I don’t like to admit that I have a problem with fear because it shows just how human and weak I am, but I do and I think I am beginning to see my problem for what it really is. I have always tried to side-step it and rather than say that I feared this or that, I would say I just didn’t like it, but in truth, it was more than likely fear and not simply a dislike of something.
I have had a lot of fears growing up. Some of which have been conquered and others which are still in the works and others which still must be faced and all of them are probably pretty stupid and ridiculous. To give you a hint of how real fear is a hindrance in my life, I used to fear automatically flushing toilets. Yes, I am completely serious and that was a fear everyone in my family was aware of. ;) I couldn’t side-step that one either because it was such a real fear. Yes, you go ahead and laugh at me, but seriously those things can be absolutely terrifying. Another fear, was the act of talking on a phone. Yeah, I hated having to call anyone on the phone or talk on the phone to anyone, but then I got a job which called for answering the phone and taking orders and I made mistakes, but it really wasn’t the end of the world.
As I have gotten older I have had to face more and more fears that either already existed or new ones that come with growing up and being an adult. Lately, I have been forced to come to terms with how I am handling or how I am going to handle fear. Fear is a tool that the enemy likes to use to paralyze God’s daughter from doing what she is called to do. So how do I confront fear and how should I confront fear?
The way that I am used to confronting fear is either side-stepping it, which I already mentioned, and or running away from that which causes me to fear. Yet, I have discovered that no matter what I run away from, it will most certainly catch up to me at some other point in life. For example, I have had a terrifying fear of driving in the city. I have learned to really love driving in the country side along meandering country roads with lots of hills and curves, but I can’t stand city driving, so I avoided it as much as possible growing up. But here I am going into my third year of college in a big city and I now have a car too, and guess what? I have to drive. But guess what else? It really isn’t that bad (besides using way too much gas because of getting lost. Yeah, I am one of those people that still has a stupid phone, and has zero sense of direction, so I foresee many long road adventures ahead of me. ;) ).
Something God has been revealing to me lately, is that my fear is a sin and that I need to call sin for what it is. Fearing things, is ultimately NOT trusting God and not waling in faith and that is a sin. Furthermore, fear is pride because it is the attempt to carry one’s own burden rather than casting it on God to carry and trusting him with the result, whether it be exactly what I was afraid of or not.
There are a few verses that I have been pointed to a lot of late or that I have found to be convicting and encouraging in my struggle with fear.
“Casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7
This is the verse that really made me start realizing how much fear is an actual sin. We are commanded to cast our anxieties or fears on him (Jesus Christ) because he cares about us. So to continue living in fear is essentially telling God that I don’t trust him to take care of me and that I can just do it myself, which shows a lot of pride and a lack of trust in God, both of which are sins.
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7
These verses remind me of my alternative choice to fearing and being anxious. Speaking from experience, fear causes a lot of restlessness and basically zero peace. But rather than being anxious and fearful and I am called to first pray about everything. God loves when we come to him and talk to him about literally everything. Don’t under estimate God! He loves us and he has all the time in the world for his children and he WILL and DOES listen. Secondly, I am told in this verse to give thanks in EVERYTHING. This is not just some things or when I feel like it, but in everything and, seriously, I have a hard time with it because, for example, I hate (ok, that might be a little strong and is obviously not showing thankfulness, but…) city life, yet I am told I need to be thankful living in the city? That is hard for me. I don’t want to be thankful that I live in the city or thankful for the things that make me afraid, yet I am told to give thanks for it all. I am learning slowly, how much of a difference giving thanks makes. In the times when I am fearful or anxious or restless, I have been trying to remember to pull out my thanksgiving journal and write down a few things that I can give thanks for and it really makes a difference. Try it and find out for yourself. ;) Lastly, when I am willing to lift up my anxieties and fears to God and give thanks, he will hear and he does give peace, a peace that passes all understanding. This doesn’t necessarily mean one quick short prayer, but rather an earnest pleading and crying out to God for help, deliverance, and peace.
Now in closing, I am not writing this because I have finally had victory over fear, but rather because God has been revealing that sin in my life and because I wanted to share with ya’ll some of what God has been teaching me about fear. The struggle is not over, I know that it is something I must continue to fight against, and I don’t have it all figured out. I am slowly, tediously, and painfully learning to go to God when I am afraid of something and cast my fears on him. I am very slowly learning to walk by faith and not by sight, trusting God with the unknown and unforeseen future. It could mean that I fail in my third year of college or could it mean I get in a car accident or it could mean I am single for the rest of life (a few of the things I fear), but by God’s grace I am learning to face my fears and bring it to God, rather than continue to run away from him and my fears.Wow! I definitely did not mean to write such a long post and I feel like there is still more to say, but I will spare you! Haha! I do hope and pray this post may bless someone who reads it, if anyone has the courage to get all the way through. Lol
Thankful for Grace,