This morning I watched a TED Talk that Karen Thompson Walker gave about fear in 2012. She discussed how fear is related to our imagination, fear can be thought of as a type of storytelling, and we need to learn how to better read these stories. She states that we should examine our fears with the cool, collected logic of a scientist, instead of giving into the most outlandish but most frightening of those fears. The Bible says “do not fear” or “do not be afraid” hundreds of times. This commandment was obviously a point of emphasis for God in our lives. He knew that as humans we have a tendency, as Karen pointed out, to let our imaginations go too far, which will often lead us to inactivity or poor decision making. Often times I will want to do something: write a book, speak to someone, film a story, share a song, etc., and then I let my imagination, my fear, get the best of me. But I’m thankful that I’m not alone in this battle.
Paul encourages his apprentice, Timothy about his fears in 1 Timothy 1:7. The Amplified says it this way: “For God did not give us a spirit of timidity (of cowardice, of craven and cringing and fawning fear), but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of calm and well-balanced mind and discipline and self-control.”
Timothy had a great calling on his life, yet Paul knew that Timothy had the tendency to want to shrink back from that call and remain inactive, a much less terrifying place to be. God has called us to be fearless and fight that tendency to stay stuck. But it’s so much more than that! Fear usually leads to rash or unwise decisions but God has given us the tools to fight against that as well: power, love, a calm mind, a well-balanced mind, discipline, and self-control. All of those elements are possessed by anyone who has the Spirit of God living inside of them; if you’ve accepted Christ as your Savior this verse applies to you! God has made these traits available to you, you just have to access them, you just have to take hold of them in your life.
Take some time to just meditate on this truth. What does being fearless look like to you? Are there any areas in your life that fear leads to inactivity? What tools to do you need to cultivate to combat this fear? You can be fearless, do you believe it?