What Has Fear Done To You?

img-book-start-smallJon Acuff has written a fine book entitled Start.  At one point in the book as he discusses fear he writes, “Stories without dragons are boring” (p. 64).  He says that in every story there is typically a villain of some sort. 

For many of us the villain in our lives is the voice that often puts fear in our hearts.

Fear can be paralyzing.  It can keep you from starting.

Fear can be deadly.  It can destroy your confidence.

Fear can be self-defeating.  It can cause you to severely limit yourself.

As a result,  you don’t take the initiative.  You don’t take risks.  You don’t start.  Instead, you talk about “someday.”

Someday is the day that never comes.

The internal voice of fear will stop you in your tracks and keep you from doing the very thing you know you need to do.

  • Fear will cause you to accept a status quo life instead of what God wants you to have.
  • Fear will keep you from pursuing your dream, and stepping out on faith.
  • Fear will keep you from addressing an obvious problem for fear you might fail.
  • Fear will keep you from starting.
  • Fear allows you to think that one day you are going to do this or that but to never make any attempt.
  • Fear causes us to be afraid as a congregation living in a world that is changing rapidly.
  • Fear will keep you from obeying Jesus.

Think about what we fear.We may fear a loss of control.  We fear that things are going to get out of hand.  Consequently, we try to micromanage the details and keep the reigns very tight – maybe something like micromanaging our vacations.  Sometimes adult children will experience this from a parent.  This is the person who must have everything so – so and has little if any flexibility to temper such rigidity.

We may fear appearing incompetent. What if people find out that I am not up to what I need to be doing?  What if they find out that I am not as competent as they think I am?  Maybe the gap between what I think I ought to know and what I actually know is getting wider and wider.

We may fear that this is all there is.  Is this is good as my marriage is going to be?  Is this as good as my life is going to be?  Is this it?

We may fear that one day our children will no longer need us.  This may be especially worrisome if my whole life has been centered around my children and my marriage and other relationships have not been nurtured.

We may fear a changing church.  Families often experience this as their children grow up and then go to churches that are different from the church of their youth.

We may fear the world.  This is a culture that increasingly hostile to Christianity.  Very often, the way Christians respond to such a world is through a hostile voice.  One person wrote of a public gathering in her city at which a group of Christians were yelling at a group of protesters.  She said it was embarrassing to hear the Christian group talk this way before unbelievers.

Through all our fears, Jesus is present.  Yet his presence and love do not mean that he will automatically relieve you of the problems that concern you.  Nor is his presence a guarantee that you can avoid suffering.  However, it does mean that he will see you through.


What has been particularly helpful to you in dealing with your fear?

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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4 thoughts on “What Has Fear Done To You?

  1. I saw Jon last week while he was conducting a leadership conference in San Antonio. He gave a stellar presentation on many of the principles found in the book you reference: “Start.” I recommend the book.

    • Mark, glad you got to see Jon Acuff! I would love to do that at some point. Thanks for your recommendation. It is a very good and helpful book.

  2. When I come into a new situation or a situation that is in a state of change and I begin to feel fearful, I go to some friends of mine who are positive influences in my life and ask them to pray for me and with me. Then I move against whatever is causing fear. I throw myself headlong into it with the knowledge that Jesus is present and that there is a group of people who are praying for me.

    • Thomas, I like this! I like the way you go to your friends and voice your fear and then ask them to pray for you. Then I like the way you step into the fear, knowing they are praying for you. This is a simple but very, very helpful helpful strategy that you’ve shared. Thanks!