reshared with kind permission from Author and Pastor Joshua Reich.
All of us have fears. It might be the dark, failure, snakes (that’s one of mine!), heights, being alone, or being in a crowd.
How do you know if you fear the right things? If we aren’t careful, we can be afraid of things that aren’t worth being afraid or we can let fear dictate what we do and don’t do. One pastor said, “What you fear establishes the boundaries of your freedom.”
One way to know what you are afraid of is to look at what you deflect in your life. What things do we not want to talk about or deal with? What places or relationships in our lives will we not let someone speak into?
Counselor Ed Welch gives three reasons to help us discover our fears:
Welch says, “These three reasons have one thing in common, they make people bigger, more powerful and significant, than God in our lives. And from this power, we give other people the power and right to tell us what to feel, think, and do.”
If you’re afraid of heights, you stay on the ground; you don’t fly. If you’re scared of sharks, you don’t play in the waves. If you’re afraid to get hurt, you stay away from most relationships.
One of the things we see in scripture is that the fear of God is the answer to our fear because God will not limit us but give us freedom.
Because fearing the right thing can lead to freedom.
But something else is going on when we look at fears. Our fears and worries have meaning. They tell us something. They reveal things about who we are, and they show what we love and value.
This is especially important for men because one of the narratives of our culture for men is that you don’t fear anything. You are a man. This is why from a young age, men hear, “Be a man.” so, instead of fear, men opt for anger.
One author said, “Following Jesus in faith often means asking what is the next right move?”
But our fears can keep us from asking this question and keep us from answering it, so we stay stuck.
What if on the other side of your fear, on the other side of the next right move, is the life you’ve been hoping for?
And all that is keeping you is a step.