When emotions run high and fear creeps in: stop in the silence/stillness of God. (1)Identify what is real, (2) what this can teach us, (3) how God can act through this, and (4) how we can show God to others in that moment.
- (1) Ask God to speak truth to your heart. Know that you are prone to sin and the temptation to react without guidance. Be honest and show humility when you examine your own heart. Seek to discover what is real so proper action can be taken.
- (2) After we know the real emotion, find its purpose in your situation. What can it teach us about ourselves? What can it teach us about others? What can it teach us about our role in this situation (are we to learn or be an example to teach others)? Every situation is a chance to learn!
- (3) Can you identify how God is acting through the situation? Who is He spurring toward growth or realization? What defenses are being broken down or weakened? Is He drawing people closer to Him? Is He providing provision that might be missed in the presence of high emotion?
- (4) How can you be His example? Maybe God has brought you a difficult situation so that you might show others the power of the Spirit in your life, what reliance of God really looks like. Being an example of God creates more change than being a person of words. God let Lazarus die, which brought Jesus to tears. He did this so that He might be glorified when Jesus brought Him back to life!
Fear as Anxiety
Anxiety is the fear that letting go of control will somehow cause things to fall into chaos. We must always remember that God in always in control. That’s a great thing considering that His will for us is always better than what we can imagine for ourselves. The fear of letting control leave our hands causes so much undo stress. Most of the time the anxiety starts with one subject and then spreads to many. Eventually we end up in a constant state of anxiousness which effects our daily function both internally and in regards to the people around us. People falsely assume that others can’t do what they can or do it as completely. They must choose to trust others and embrace the opportunity to help that person if a mistake is made. More importantly they must trust God and His provision, just as He trusts His chosen to carry out His work on earth.
Fear as Depression/Sadness
Depression comes from a fear that things will never get any better. That fear fuels a hopelessness that reason cannot redirect. Allowing that fear to grow begins a downward spiral where the unrealistic fear builds upon itself. Eventually depression reaches a point that when things do improve, the emotion is so solidified that the good times are a lesser version of reality. This in-turn makes recovery even more difficult as the light looks dimmer as time goes forward. To curb depression we must attack that fear. The light of God can shine into the darkest depression. This comes from experience not a theory. It is unrealistic that things will always be hard. We cannot drift into hopelessness. This fear must be met with God and His reality!
Fear as Pride
Pride is fear of including the thoughts of other people into your potentially fallible position. People work hard to create opinions and positions on every topic that they are exposed to. They work even harder to make sure that their opinion is relevant and valuable. When an opposing opinion might prove theirs inadequate pride creeps in. They first have to attack the person expressing the opinion to prove superiority and then undermine the value of the opposing opinion. The opposite of pride is humility. How much better and well-rounded would we be if we took a position of humility and allowed potentially valuable information to help grow our ideas? Be open to ideas that contradict yours. Sometimes an opportunity for growth comes from the most unlikely source.
Fear as Greed
Greed comes from a fear that God’s provision will not be enough. People gather resources at the expense of others to ensure that their needs will be unconditionally met. They gather provision that will ruin over time. Just like in the wilderness when the Israelites were told to gather manna for the day. When they attempted to gather more it spoiled overnight. God provides more than we need. He does this in the hope that we will use that provision to provide for those around us. He could provide for them specifically but when His children do His work, the recipient can give glory to God. The world is full of people who prosper and refuse to give credit where it is due. Know that God gives abundantly for the purpose of His glory. He provides for His children. He promises this so there should be not room for fear reflected as greed in a believer.
Fear as Un-Forgiveness
A lack of forgiveness occurs when there is a fear of reoccurring behavior. Sometimes it occurs when a situation is too painful to be dealt with so an inability to forgive that person acts to create separation and safety. If we choose not to forgive we maintain a ‘safe’ distance from pain. We also isolate ourselves from people and unrelated situations and relationships. God desires reconciliation. He reconciled us to Him when we did not deserve or even ask for forgiveness. Being Christ-like is being willing to forgive, even in moments the other person doesn’t show remorse. Extending forgiveness sets the injured party free as much as the person who created the issue. The true goal should be to forgive as God does. Another valuable lesson is to learn from the inflicted pain and grow in unconditional love for people. That is the ultimate command of God.
Fear as Hatred
Hatred develops from a fear that there is no possible resolution. When things have become so bad that hope is lost, the safest emotion position is found when we detach. The easiest way to detach is to hate. Hate prevents any further emotional attachment. Hatred creates a selfish safety. While the heart of hate remains safe, the victim of that hate is left even more vulnerable. With that thought we can see how selfish and worldly a position of hatred is. Selfish and worldly are antonyms of what God is. Instead of hate, we must be children of God who seek resolution. Even if that resolution is not emotionally safe for us. Our God is a God of reconciliation proven when He sent Jesus to reconcile us to Him. When your emotion begins to develop into hate you have to rely on God to find resolution, and to give you hope. There can be no hate where there is hope. Don’t fall into a selfish position of hate. Don’t project your fear as hate and create a greater impedance to resolution and reconciliation. Be an example of God’s design.