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A friend of mine was hesitant to join a Bible study because she did not know the Bible and its stories very well. She said she was afraid we’d sit in a circle, and when it got around to her, she wouldn’t be able to answer the question. Thankfully, her fear didn’t keep her from attending her first Bible study and finding out that she really enjoyed it (and that she was not pressed to share unless she wanted to). In fact, she even began a Bible study in her own home afterwards, something many seasoned Bible scholars would be fearful of doing.

I have my own fears, and you do too. Fear keeps us from many things. Fear can keep me from being creative. It makes me afraid to share my stories. It has the power to keep me from the full potential God has waiting for me. Fear is even able to rob me of feelings of fulfillment and contentment.

I’m trying to remember that recognizing fear and being able to articulate exactly what it is that I fear and then dealing with that fear are the only ways to move past it.

One tool I use to overcome fear is remembering that faith and fear are very close relatives, and that I can choose which one will guide my thoughts. Though both are emotions and both are an expectation for an event that hasn’t yet come to pass, faith and fear produce very different results. (1) The chart below illustrates the potential each one has, the emotional energy each one exacts and the reward and harvest of each. (2)



• Potential = Hopeful

• Emotional energy = Uplifting

• Reward = The potential becomes reality

• Harvest = Perpetual



• Potential = Dark

• Emotional energy = Life draining

• Reward = More fear

• Harvest = Living on the edge of insanity


One thing I’ve recently learned about fear is that fear can actually cause a change in brain and organ function and therefore, ultimately, a change in behavior (3). So what I might have done, I don’t. All because of fear. I’m at a place in life where I really want to accomplish things. I don’t want fear interrupting my progress! It has helped me to know the following truths about fear because if I can call something what it is, I can deal with it much better.



• Is not real

• Is a vapor, a myth

• Is a product of our creative imaginations causing us to fear things that do not exist or might not ever exist

• Is full of anxiety and agitation

• Disrupts your progress

• Keeps you from your dreams and your goals

• Is a choice


Along with reminding myself exactly what fear is (and isn’t), I’ve found that the following exercise, taken from a book by Andy Andrews, helps me when I feel paralyzed. (4) First, identify three obstacles that limit you. Second, write out three affirmations to combat those fears or obstacles. When you face those fears again, you are to read them out loud and remind yourself of those truths. I’m including below what I actually wrote several months ago as an example.


Three obstacles:

1) Dealing with hurt, criticism or disappointment

2) Choosing laziness or comfort over working hard to get my goals accomplished

3) How I feel about myself


Three affirmations:

1) Forgive quickly. Fee yourself from the hurt. Persist in choosing wisely so you will be wise.

2) See exhaustion as a precursor to success. It is not important that you enjoy the process. It is only important that you continue the process with your eyes on the outcome.

3) The truth about you: You are broken and mending. You are a leader and an equipper. You are a survivor. You will not quit or give in.

By saying these affirmations out loud, I choose to be pro-active in battling my fears. Fear is a part of life. But, I won’t let fear rob me of my emotional energy or creative thinking. Instead, I will exercise faith, knowing that I will be emotionally uplifted and that one day I will see the perpetual harvest that faith produces.


1. Andy Andrews, Mastering the Seven Decisions (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 2008), 155.

2.  Ibid. (This chart is based on information found on page 155.)

3. Found at:

4. Andy Andrews, Mastering the Seven Decisions (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 2008), 153-154.


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