“Fear not.” If you’ve ever read the words of Jesus, you know this verse. “Fear not, for I am with you.” You don’t have to be a believer to learn the concept that Jesus was trying to teach his disciples. It’s already within you.
When I Was A Boy, My Dad Was A Preacher
When I turned 10 years old, he quit preaching and moved our family into a cult. Later, after escaping the cult, I dealt with intense fear. I thought the leader was going to hunt me down.
You can learn more about my childhood experiences in my book, A Train Called Forgiveness.
For many years, I dealt with fear. I didn’t go back to college until I was 30 years old because I was afraid I couldn’t succeed. I remained single for many years because I was afraid to show my most intimate feelings. I was afraid to take chances in general. But over the years, I’ve learned a few things about fear.
False Expectations Appearing Real
- Fear is perceived: When we are afraid of something, it’s usually not reality. We fear what we perceive as reality. For instance, if you get a strange pain in your chest, you might fear you have a heart condition. But that is only your perception. I thought the cult leader was going to hunt me down. But it was all in my head. Fear not, for it’s only a perception.
- Fear is passing: When we’re in the thick of fear, we think we are forever doomed. But fear is only a cloud. It passes over us. It casts a dark shadow, but it’s only a shadow. If we focus on the coming light, we can get through fear with less anxiety. It will pass.
- Fear is external: When you’re afraid, it might feel like it’s something that’s coming from within you. It’s not. Fear is always created from something external. You let it in and dwell upon it. We often fear things that are out of our control. In reality, almost everything is out of our control, so the key is in acceptance. Fear is on the outside.
- Fear can be replaced: This is the key to overcoming fear. This is what Jesus was trying to teach his disciples. It’s simple. Fear can be replaced by a spirit of love. You’ve heard it said that Jesus IS love. Fear not, for I am with you. This is an internal force. Fear is cast into our hearts and minds by external factors. Love is found from within and will always conquer fear.
I know what many of you are thinking. This is easy to say, but harder to do. Yes. You are absolutely correct in that observation. It’s only with continual practice that we are able to let peace and love become a constant replacement for fear.
Break The Illusion: Fear Not
I spent most of my 20s and some of my 30s in extreme fear. But my dad, the same one who got me into a cult earlier in life, taught me that fear is an illusion. It’s external. But Christ-love, on the other hand, is not a pie-in-the-sky dream, but is internal. Knowing that the source of peace is internal and the source of fear is external has changed my life.
I still struggle with fear from time to time. We all do. But I no longer dwell on fear. I dwell on the internal power of peace and love within.