The words, “fear not” are reported to be in the Bible 365 or 366 times; one for every day of the year to remind us God is in control, we needn’t be fearful. Well, it’s a nice thought, but the reality is, ‘fear not’ isn’t found 365 or even 366 times. Depending upon the source and context one uses, ‘fear not’ can be found about 80 or so times, and within a similar context, we could add another 30 times. I am no math whiz, but I’m fairly certain without getting out my calculator 80+30 does not equal 365. I’m not going to call this a lie from the pulpit, but what’s the point of saying things that aren’t true? Some websites trying to explain away the misrepresentation attempt to justify the statement, but why? Just don’t say things that aren’t true. I don’t believe we need to stretch the truth or tell lies to make a point. Obviously, the point is don’t fear.
Fear is a natural response to the unknown, and really isn’t fear of the unknown the basis of all fear? We don’t know what lies ahead and that gives us a moment of pause or flat out anxiety. Relax, fear is a normal response for those of us who are human, but fear does not need to rule our lives. Fear, as I have said before, originates in the ego, that part of us desiring control. The ego feels out of control when we aren’t clear on a given situation, we don’t know what lies ahead, or what to expect.
Before moving on let me clarify. I believe some fear is a good thing. Fear is protective, at times. If I am walking down a dark alley and fear slithers at the back of my neck making the hair stand on end and my gut is screaming at me to run, it would be best to listen. In moments like these, fear is part of our innate warning system. The fear I am referring to is fear that paralyzes us from moving forward in life. Fear that is not protective, but is controlling and suffocating. In today’s world, we often medicate that kind of fear instead of dealing with it.
In Biblical circles 2 Timothy 1:7 is often quoted in regard to overcoming fear: “For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love, and self-discipline.” (NIV) So, what does love have to do with overcoming fear? Power and self-discipline seem logical to overcoming fear, but love in the trio seems out of place. Love seems out of place because of our definition that fear equals a lack of trust. The reality is, love is fear’s opposite, not trust.
From a spiritual and non-religious vantage point, I interpret Paul’s statement to Timothy to mean we are an extension of God, Source Energy, the Divine, and as such, love, power, and self-discipline are innate. Concentrating our attention on love for a moment, we as an extension of the Divine were created to love self first. Why is loving self first important? Loving self provides the foundation to experience the power and self-discipline, but first, we need to understand self-love, what it is and what it is not. Self-love allows us to see ourselves through the eyes of God; unique spirits created from the love of God to inhabit a body and have a human experience. Self-love is not narcissistic; to love self means we understand as extensions of God loving self first will open us to be the conduit to extend God’s love to others. When we are able to see ourselves through God’s eyes and realize we are extensions of Divine Source, why fear the unknown? We have everything we need for every situation within our spirits.
So, what about power and self-discipline? During our human experience, we learn what it is to be human, to live in harmony with others and to journey with God, but we cannot accomplish that when fear rules our lives. We need the power and self-discipline to partner with love to live free from fear. Our power, like love, is a result of understanding who we are; extensions of God. The self-discipline is the effort we make daily, sometimes hourly, to practice fearlessness through loving self and others and experiencing the power we have as extensions of God.
The church teaches God gives us these things, that the power, love, and self-discipline come from outside ourselves. Paul laid hands on Timothy imparting these gifts from God. This is where church teachings and spiritual teachings differ; in general, the church teaches to look outside ourselves for answers making us dependent upon an outside agent whereas those who practice spirituality believe the wisdom of the Universe resides within. We don’t require any special giftings, laying on of hands, prayers, or meditations to impart what is already within.
So, what are we to conclude about fear? Fear is a human response to the unknown, but we need not give into that fear. It serves no purpose and prevents us from experiencing this incredible thing called life. Protective fear we need. We don’t need controlling fear preventing us from moving forward in life. Everything we need to walk through life with boldness is innate; power, love, and self-discipline. It is our job to know and live the innate truth.
Does fear rule your life? Within you lies all that is necessary to overcome fear and live a bold life free from fear…..
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