When Is It Okay To Fear?
2 Timothy 1:7 says, “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, love and of a sound mind”(KJV).
It’s clear enough that as Christians we should not fear. But yet…sometimes we do fear. Well, I do. I used to be afraid a lot; of people, standing in front of people to do whatever I have to do was a big problem. In my opinion, there are two kinds of fear: first, the correct one, which is the Fear of God. Throughout the Scriptures we are commanded to fear God.
Ecclesiastes 12:13 KJV
“Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.”
This is a kind of fear everybody is required to have, saved or not, since God is the God of all mankind. Interpret this to mean to cower or to shiver(which some atheists use as an excuse, that God is a God of love so there should not be any need to “fear” Him) , or as to reverence or obey, (which is more like it), but there is nothing wrong with this kind of fear. The opposite is true. So to answer the question, the only One to fear is God.
When Is It Not Okay To Give In To Fear?
But then there is this other kind of fear, which is not healthy at all, both spiritually and physically. This is the kind of fear that prevents most of us from reaching where we are supposed to, from fulfilling our purposes in life. Many talents are wasted because of this kind of fear, or at least diverted in order not to ‘offend anyone’. But the Bible says, “The fear of man bringeth a snare…”( Proverbs 29:25, KJV). We have different types of this kind of fear. Fear of man, fear of the future, fear of risk or failure, or even of success (some people will rather die than let others know what they are really capable of). It doesn’t make sense when you think about it , but it’s real. Giving in to these fears give them power over us, and that is not okay.
What Cause Fear?
There are many things that cause fear. Some people are brought up in negative environments which pre-dispose them to fear even before they have something to be afraid of. Some natural temperamental dispositions make some people prone to fear more than others. Sometimes too, there are real failures we may have had in the past that makes us afraid of doing the same thing again. These are but a few of the causes of fear. They don’t matter as much as overcoming them is.
What Is It At All?
Unlike shyness, fear is a spirit, not just a feeling we can overcome by ourselves or ignore, as some self-help experts might say. “God hath not given us the spirit of fear…”(2 Tim. 1:7, KJV, enphasis mine). Fear is a spirit that does not come from God. And if it does not come from Him then where else? Yeah, you got that right. The devil. One of those who claim to have seen heaven and hell say they saw, in hell, the spirit of fear chasing a certain woman there. This is not to scare you but to open your eyes to the reality. Some people are afraid of the dark, spiders, germs, and such. There are some phobias whose sources are difficult to comprehend. But research shows that the fear of public speaking (or of men, if you like) ranks the highest among them.
What Does It Do To Us?
Fear enslaves us to its power. But this is an offence to Christ because we are His slaves. And a man cannot serve two masters and love them both the same. Fear stifles faith, whether it’s of spiders or heights. And the Bible says, “And without faith it is impossible to please God…”(Hebrews 11:6a, NIV). And also, “Now unto Him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all we ask or think, according to the power that worketh within us”(Ephesians 3:20, ASV). It’s not healthy to have fear as the power that works within us. And that is an understatement.
So How To Overcome It?
“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 4:18, NIV). But Jesus has already taken away whatever punishment we should have had: “…The Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!”( John 1:29, NIV). So there is no need to fear if we just trust God enough to obey Him by the power of the Holy Spirit, who is the Spirit of “power, of love , and of self-discipline”(2 Timothy 1:7, NIV). He is the opposite of the spirit of fear. We should also love God above all else, our pride and self-consciousness included.
“But I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desires of the flesh. For the flesh has desires that are opposed to the flesh…for these are in opposition to each other, so that you cannot do what you want.” (Galatians 5:16-17, a Bible app). And I bet you want to overcome whatever fear you have. Non?
When Is It Okay To Fear?