I still remember the feeling every time I was asked. It was one of my chores at home and one of the ways I was going to “learn responsibility to be the man I need to be.” But no matter how much positive motivation was tied to the chore, to my young 10 year old mind taking the garbage out at night…in the dark…to the side of the house…was a recipe for fear.
There were no lights, no tasers and no adult protection offered to join me, which seemed a little beyond reason. Along with this came the potential for every nightmare I had ever had as a kid to become reality – all because my parents asked me to take the garbage out. I knew nothing would actually happen, but in the back of my mind loomed the question, “But, what if…?”
Fear can be crippling.
I wish that once we hit the other side of 10 years old, that fear was no longer an issue in our lives. But for many, fear continues to dominate their mind and heart. The good news is that you do not have to stay a captive to fear.
Paul wrote once to his young friend, Timothy, the following reminder, which is a truth for every follower of Jesus:
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.”2 Timothy 1:7, NLT
What God has made available for each of us isn’t a life plagued with fear and timidity. What we must understand is that before fear is ever a reaction, fear starts with a thought or belief. Left unchecked it becomes a toxic source that shapes our outlook and our life.
As we follow Jesus and learn to depend on the resources that He provides for us, our outlook begins to change. He works in us and helps us to detox our thinking. His power at work within us is the key.
With that in mind, here are Five Fears that everyone can overcome.
For many, this statement becomes an unsaid manifesto for how they approach life. Sometimes it is used to be portray humility, when in reality it is a screaming declaration of insecurity. Here is a simple truth: I can’t, but God can. Maybe you are facing a fear and your response is “I can’t.” That is okay, because no matter what you’re facing, God can! Dwell on that truth, and detox your thoughts.
NO ONE ELSE WILL UNDERSTAND
At times we can convince ourselves that we are the only person who has ever faced what we are facing. We allow this thought of fear to take a grip in our heart and mind and we convince ourselves that if we open up to others, what we are walking through or facing, no one will get it. NOT TRUE. People identify with our weaknesses. There are no perfect people. At the end of the day, reflect on this truth: Jesus understands what I am facing (see Hebrews 4:15-16).
I WILL NEVER BE ENOUGH
This thought keeps so many people from walking by faith in what Jesus is asking them to step into. The good news is that Jesus never asked you to be enough, because He already is enough. Where we are weak, He is strong (2 Corinthians 12:9-11). He is not looking for superheroes. He is looking for people who are willing to partner with Him and His resources, that He makes available.
I NEED TO BE IN CONTROL
Fear can do funny things. When we feel out of control, we can often fight for control. We want to make sure that we can at least be in charge of something. So we obsess about a endless list of things…always fighting for control but never actually finding this. Because of this fact, we feel more out of control – so we react by trying to be in control of more. It is an endless cycle. My need for control reveals that at some level I am not believing the Gospel and I have lost sight that Jesus is in control – and because of this, I need not fear.
I AM ALONE
This is a very real fear. Even though we may always be around family, friends, classmates or co-workers, many people can feel and believe that they are alone. This is what my 10 year old mind was convinced of every time I had to take the trash out in the dark. But God is good, and He never leaves us or forsakes us (Hebrews 13:5-6). As you think about that, let the toxic belief that you’re alone fade away.
Fear is one of the greatest things that we can detox from our thinking. It controls and cripples. It doesn’t belong. It’s not healthy. Take time to pray today that Jesus would provide you freedom from fear in your life. Reflect on 2 Timothy 1:7 and walk in the love, power and self-discipline that Jesus gives.
If you missed part one of THOUGHT DETOX you can find it here.