Tuesday, May 22, 2007

What if...we lived life fearlessly?

Wow, can you imagine how much more you would accomplish if you lived life fearlessly? Yet, we are constantly fearful. We fear failure, we fear what people will say, we fear our incapacities, we even fear that people will look at us bad. Fear is a crippling disease!

Fear is born from feeling powerless, unqualified, vulnerable or helpless. When we experience fear we believe that we are exposed to some form of danger. Consequently, we are convinced that we don’t have what it takes to protect ourselves.
The interesting thing about feeling fear is that often our first reaction is to seek protection or refuge from that which threatens our security. Therefore our natural instincts are: to take flight or to freeze.

We often “take flight” because we don’t want to deal with, or we feel incapable of dealing with a dreadful situation. And while taking flight is a form of protection it also put us in denial mode. We don’t know how to deal with it, so we take flight and ignore it, all in the hopes that danger will eventually just go away.

Typically, however, we freeze before fear. The danger before us seems undefeatable so we become paralyzed. If our frozen state were not bad enough, we find ways of justifying our paralysis. To justify our in-action we say things like: “I’m praying about it,” or “Just hanging on.” Don’t get me wrong, these are all good responses. The only problem is that this state of frozenness will limit our progress.

Truth is that, neither flight or freeze, although common responses, are appropriate answers to fear.

Believe it or not, our best response before should be to confront fear. But confrontation requires that we acquire a state of fearlessness. Confrontation does not necessarily mean conflict and crisis. Confrontation simply means that we will take action, regardless of our fears.
One of my favorite passages of scripture is found in 2 Timothy 1:7, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline” (NLT). To live fearlessly, is to live with the assurance that we have already received from God all that we need to face even our most deepest fears.

9 comments:

Randee said...

Power

Love

Self-Discipline

Norka..you quoted the Scripture and I believe that in this verse God is giving us the antedote to living fearlessly.

To embrace the power that comes by being a daughter of God. We can easily embrace this power when our eyes are focused on Christ Himself. And, more specifically His resurrection and the power that comes with it.

I once heard that there is no fear in love. I think of a mother who powerfully and fearlessly protects her child whom she loves unconditionally. This same unconditional love we receive from Christ. In that love, we can do all things.

And, the interesting one...self-discipline. What if God is saying to us: Conquer your fear through self-discipline. Take it one step at a time through my power and my love. These two are freely given to you. But the self-discipline is up to you. I give and you give.

Just a thought.

Shalene said...

Every time, I hear or read about a situation in which we "take flight" or even "freeze" I'm reminded of Scarlett O'Hara and how she would always "think about it tomorrow" I think sometimes when we allow fear to take control, it is can also be a fear of what we can handle emotionally. However, I know from experience that thinking about it later, and not allowing yourself to think about it now, and confront the issue can lead to serious consequences later. Thank you for the scripture that I can now recite and memorize in my moments of fear. I too agree, that God calls us to step out in faith that He will sustain us, no matter what the outcome, so fear and worry are so pointless to put in mildly. Blessings.

Anne said...

That quote from 2 Timothy helped get me through a long stretch of fear. Feelings of helplessness are incapacitating. What freedom we can experience by fully realizing that fear doesn't come from God, but only those other positive attributes. My version of the Bible translates self-discipline as a "sound mind". I found great comfort in that when I was a young, single mom and struggling to hold it all together at times.

Sheri said...

My hugest fear at this time in my life is letting go of my son.

For so many months I kept trying to control his future. Counseling him to do this or that.

I have fear that he won't be happy. That he'll make mistakes. That he won't hear God's voice etc. etc.

I finally realized that I have to let God guide him. I've taken the control out of my fear. Yes, I still worry (sin). I still have fear. But, my controlling attitude has changed. That was hard. Having the faith to let go was huge for me. I realized that God loves him infinitely more than I do and doesn't want to see him fail either. I realized that I was blocking God's call to him. Here I was worrying that Stephen wouldn't follow God, but how could he when I was standing in the way?

Now, when Stephen tells me what he wants to do with his life, I bite my tongue and smile (hard to do at the same time.)

So if I could live fearlessly...there would be less worry!!! And less grey hair(?)

Lori Arriaga said...

This is the perfect scripture to help us overcome any fear in our lives. I have prayed and meditated on this scripture on several occasions for myself and I like to pray this scripture for others as well because only as we embracing His power and love can we begin to live fearlessly and confront our fears.

Norka said...

Such insightful comments my friends. All I can say is if He has not given us a spirit of fear... then by all means let's live life FEARLESSLY!

Randee said...

Norka,

I was reading Oswald Chambers again today and he was talking about the hand of Jesus touching you. How when His hand touches you comes the feeling of peace, comfort, and the impossibility of fear. That once you've been touched by His hand...there is no fear.

Can you imagine a truly fearless life?

Why not? If He is who He says He is and we are who He says we are...then why not?

Sheri said...

If I lived life fearlessly I would be free.

Free to love.
Free to forgive.
Free to ask forgiveness.
Free to give.
Free to receive.
Free to pray.
Free to worship.
Free to be blessed.
Free to be silly.
Free to cry.
Free to run.
Free to fly.
Free from pain.

Randee said...

Lovely, Sherri.