Faith or Fear?
Posted on July 27, 2011
Living a life in faith and trust is a moment by moment process, breath by breath.
To find the faith to keep going when everything falls apart is where the rubber meets the road for most of us. In good times, we speak of faith rather casually. It’s easy to have faith when things are going our way.
What about when the bottom falls out? What happens when your worst fears happen and you’ve got no control over the outcome? Do you immediately try to scramble to fix things, even the un-fixable? Do you numb out and avoid the reality of the situation? self-medicate with alcohol, drugs, food, sex, exercise, or some other ‘fix’?
Even a good thing like exercise can become problematic if it becomes excessive and a way for you to avoid dealing with difficult issues. This is tough stuff. Because the reality of life is that things don’t always go our way and bad things do happen to good people.
And you may not like what I’m about to say, but I’ll say it anyway…knowingly, or unknowingly, like me, you’ve chosen your path.
I’ve noticed that in my life most of my difficulties are born out of my choices. Obviously, I’m not speaking about natural disasters, or other circumstances outside my control. However, bad choices and bad decisions ultimately lead to disastrous outcomes – thinking that maybe wrong choices would be a better descriptive. Because what may be wrong or bad for decisions for me, may not actually be wrong or bad for you. And to be clear, I’m not speaking of absolute wrongs in this case, because I do believe that there are absolute wrongs. (Another post topic).
Anyway…I’ve reflected enough to realize that most of my bad choices have been made out of fear.
Fear. Fear. Fear. The funny thing about this is that until rather recently, I lacked the self-awareness to realize the magnitude and the depth of my fear. In fact, I remember a conversation I had with a friend, probably 15 years ago, about fear. She was telling me how she was working to overcome her fears – and I remember thinking, that’s interesting, I don’t have any fears. (except for the usual ones related to the safety of my loved ones).
I now realize just how deep my fears run.
I’ve made a lot of choices based in fear without even knowing it. I’ve run from the fear because I’m, well, afraid. Is anyone still with me? Can you relate?
What are your fears? Do you know? Can you face them?
I’m going to, head on.
Here’s what I know. Fear is a prison – a self-induced prison, but a prison nonetheless. Because your fear will keep you from real freedom and real love.
Fear must be a common human condition. It’s mentioned more times than I can count in scripture – and there is a solution – It’s found in 1 John 4:18, NLT, Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love.
My prayer today for you, and for me, is that we will surrender to His perfect love. That we will come to understand, know, and experience perfect love, without fear. For faith and trust are impossible in the midst of fear.