Fear is a Liar
Updated: Aug 9, 2018
Fear is such a demanding thing. Listen to me! Obey me! Trust me! Have you ever actually taken a moment to sit back and think about how many decisions in your life are made because of fear? I mean really breaking it down to the motivation level and not just the big stuff either. Not just the moments in life when we choose to alter our life path to avoid feeling fear but the little moments that build up a day. For example, that last minute choice to look down at your phone instead of making eye contact with a person and say hi...that's fear. Fear of rejection, fear of looking stupid, fear of failure, so many ways you could label that moment, none of them positive.
Even taking that one little example, can you imagine if you lived your day without fear in that one area? You head into your favorite coffee shop and see that guy that you've always thought looked so nice, but you don't know him. He's interesting to you, for no particular reason that you know of, he just is. But you don't say hi because you imagine if you did he would look at you oddly as if to say, "do I know you?" I mean, you can't very well say, "well, no, but you ummm... looked interesting?" That would be tragic! We're talking never show your face again at this place, tragic.
Today though, fear doesn't get a voice. So instead of dwelling on the possibility of rejection, you look him straight in the eye and smile. "Hi, how are you this morning?" is out of your mouth before you even realize what you're doing, and instead of an odd moment of confusion, you are met with a return smile and a positive / slightly surprised response. As the weeks progress you actually get to know this guy and a coffeehouse friendship is formed. Connection, unexpected as it was, is formed. All because you chose to say no to fear for one moment in your day.
Maybe you're thinking about your commonplace coffee house experiences, or you're even now listening to the voice of fear and saying to yourself, if I did that, it would not turn out in a positive way for me. You know what? You might be right! When we step out of our box and tell fear to go jump in the lake, there is a chance that fear was right. As Christians committed to following God's designed plan for our lives we have to realize the importance of challenging fear and reaching for connection. Loving others is actually one of the most important commands from the Lord.
Here are a few examples in the Bible:
"The most important one," answered Jesus, "is this: Hear O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.' The second is this: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no command greater than these." (Mark 12:29-31)
"And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love." (1 Corinthians 13:13)
"Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another" (1 John 4:11)
The list could go on and on. The truth is obvious here, God designed us to love others. Not just in a familial or romantic way, but in a brotherly way as well. That brotherly love should be the most common and practiced love that we show in the daily course of our lives. The choice to respond to others in love will show itself in many ways. Patience, consideration, forgiveness, encouragement, all expressions beginning with the foundation of connection.
More simply put, you must get your eyes out of your phone and up, focused with expectation, to find that connection. Not listening to fear, but intentionally faithful to do what God has commanded each of us to do. Do you have a coffeehouse moment you could commit to? Start by telling fear NO in one moment of your life, and grow from there. Endeavoring not to be discouraged by the outcome rather positive or negative. God called you to be brave and then He promised He would be with you to equip you for that moment.
The excitement of that word is staggering. How can a word hold so much promise and mystery all at once? Of course then you have to take the first step, which quickly brings another word to mind...
What if this idea sounds great in my head but bombs in reality? What if I
really try and I end up looking foolish? What i f no one cares?
Fear is such a bully, but God promises us a different reality. "For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but one of power, love, and sound judgment." (2 Timothy 1:7) That truth alone leaves us with...
To connect, to be honest, to make the differences between us a little bit dimmer and the similarities a little brighter.