I can remember being a little girl who would often succumb to fear. If I would see another school kid in public I would often hide behind my mother and refuse to speak. Once when asked to recite a speaking part in a Kindergarten program, during the practice I would spend several minutes crying excessively refusing to recite my part which I knew very well. I began to grow out of it as I had gotten older and more comfortable with my peers and teachers in school. However, transition always proved to be difficult for me. When going to high school and later to college I began to turn inward, introverted, reserved, and shy. It was safer to self-preserve from threat and discomfort. I respond now by being a risk taker. When I feel fear arising I try to do the opposite, and be bold and not allow time to past because it can make it even more difficult to progress.
What is fear?
Fear is defined by Webster as to feel afraid or apprehension; it is an unpleasant often strong emotion caused by or the anticipation or awareness of danger; implies anxiety and loss of courage.
Panic is defined as the sudden overpowering fright, unreasonable terror, of relating to or resembling the mental or emotional state induced by the god Pan. What?
A note about Pan: Pan has been described as a pagan god in Greek mythology and was believed to be responsible for sudden, inexplicable fear or panic. But, we are not called to idolatry. We are called to have holy fear, respect, and reverence to the One True God (Exodus 20:3-5 KJV). DO NOT BOW TO FEAR!!! Healthy fear is that of reverence and respect, awe to the true and living God, not associated with self-preservation due to an impending, irrational, and overpowering threat.
Hebrew words for fear:
The Spirit of Fear may attempt to mask itself in terms like reserved, introversion, and shy. Introversion is the state or tendency toward being completely concerned with and interested in one’s own mental life; turned inward or upon self, a reserved or shy person. Shy means to shrink away from contact with others, to be timid (easily frightened or fearful), hidden (reserved), and hesitant (bashful).
In the psychological and psychiatry sphere of mental health there is a host of Anxiety Disorders in which I will discuss in-depth later in the month. But, they include:
1. Read what God told Joshua.
Be strong (confident) and of good courage, for you shall cause this people to inherit the land which I swore to their fathers to give them. Only you be strong and very courageous, that you may do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you. Turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may prosper wherever you go. This Book of the Law shall not depart out of your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, that you may observe and do according to all that is written in it. For then you shall make your way prosperous, and then you shall deal wisely and have good success. Have not I commanded you? Be strong, vigorous, and very courageous. Be not afraid, neither be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.
Joshua 1:5-9 AMP
2. This is Paul’s words to Timothy.
That is why I would remind you to stir up (rekindle the embers of, fan the flame of, and keep burning) the [gracious] gift of God, [the inner fire] that is in you by means of the laying on of my hands [with those of the elders at your ordination].For God did not give us a spirit of timidity (of cowardice, of craven and cringing and fawning fear), but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of calm and well-balanced mind and discipline and self-control.
2 Timothy 1:5,6 AMP
3. John wrote the following in an epistle.
And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.
1 John 4:16-18 NIV
Fear should not be ignored or minimized. It can have paralyzing effects that prevents us from experiencing the fullness of our callings in God. It can cause us to hold back and withdraw, because of our intent to protect ourselves which is our self-image and pride. This is often because of the fear of making a mistake, shame that may result, and the fear of the inability to cope with it. BE STRONG AND VERY COURAGEOUS!!
Crystal S. Zanders is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor who works in private practice in Suburban Chicago. Crystal obtained her Bachelor of Arts in Communication from the University of Illinois at Chicago and Master of Arts in Counseling from Concordia University-Chicago in River Forest, IL. Crystal has over 8 years of experience providing counseling, advising, and coaching to individuals seeking to restore their lives. Crystal is actively involve in ministry. Crystal serves on the leadership team alongside her husband at Prayer City Church in Wheaton, IL. Additionally, Crystal is the co-founder of The Oasis Ministry, a women's ministry designed to encourage women in their growth in faith, purpose, and wholeness! Crystal’s favorite pastimes include: reading, writing, crocheting/knitting skills, and going to the movies. Her heart’s desire is to see individuals gain insight into their God-given identity and live a life of wholeness and purpose! Crystal loves to bring clarity and understanding through the truth of God’s Word and enjoys utilizing writing as a teaching modality.