The Toxic Chokehold of Fear

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Fear is REAL. Unless you have experienced the chilling chokehold of fear, you cannot begin to imagine the terror of its presence or the horror of its possible return. Fear is an unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous and likely to cause pain or a threat. Examples of fear include fear of height, or fear of elevators, the fear of taking a major examination, fear of receiving a medical diagnosis, or the fear of contracting COVID – 19. While fear can keep us from stepping into dangerous places, it can also keep us from achieving things we need to accomplish. This type of fear left unchecked, left unresolved can become toxic.

A case in point, there was a woman who couldn’t drive over bridges without feeling as though she was going to lose control of the steering wheel and go over the side. She was paralyzed by fear. Breaking into a sweat, she was almost unable to breathe. She tried to resolve the issue by avoiding bridges. She planned trips so she would never have the horrific experience. 

Considering the fact that, we must face more fears than crossing bridges.

So how do we handle fear? Here is a counter cultural journey to facing your fears.

By nature, we run or avoid our fears. When we run, our goal is to run somewhere we feel safe, however, at some point we need to stop running. God can give us the confidence we need to face our fears. After all, God doesn’t give us a spirit of fear (2 Tim 1:7), but He understands that we can be fearful. Jesus was made like us. “That’s why he had to enter into every detail of human life. Then, when he came before God as high priest to get rid of the people’s sins, he would have already experienced it all himself—all the pain, all the testing—and would be able to help where help was needed.” (Hebrews 2:17).

Why not sit down with paper and pen and write out your fear(s). Tell God how afraid you are. Frankly and candidly let Him know your feelings. This is what you may find. Your imagination informs your fears. God teaches us to make every thought subject to a life informed by Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5). Like the woman on the bridge, we can ask for help with confronting our fears. 2 Tim 1:7 does say that God doesn’t give us fear, but then it adds what He does give us if we let Him. It says that in our relationship with God, He gives us the Spirit of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

How should we handle fear? Trade in your toxic fear for faith in God. When you feel fear overtaking you, you have to determine if you trust God or not. Let me encourage you that placing your faith in God is a safe place.

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