Bringing On Fear
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The fear of looking foolish rises quickly within me
Reference: In great fear and distress Jacob divided the people who were with him into two groups, and the flocks and herds and camels as well. (Genesis 32:7 NIV)
Explore: Sometimes things that are beyond our control happen and bring fear into our lives. At other times, fear comes through mistakes we have made all on our own.
For instance, there have been times when someone has put me on the spot and asked me to talk publicly about something I don’t know a great deal about. The fear of looking foolish rises quickly within me as someone else has placed me in an awkward situation.
Other times, I have been asked to present on a particular matter and I’ve left my preparation to the last minute. I fear I’ll say something misguided when I’ve had ample time to check my references and plan my speech.
The first is fear I feel from being put into a tricky situation. The latter is fear I have brought on myself due to my choices.
There’s not a whole lot we can do about the first situation, however, the second is well within our control.
Application: When I read about Jacob’s experience of meeting his brother again after many years, I was reminded that often fear comes from decisions we have made many years before. Jacob hurt his brother greatly and now he was to face him again, an immense fear grew within him.
This time Jacob had not just put himself in danger, but was also endangering other men, women and children. He could not change his past decisions but only work hard to protect those who were now in his care.
Our decisions have long lasting impact. God doesn’t require us to stay in a same mind for instant relief, but to set us up well for all times. He understands the impact our decisions can have on our whole lives.
Sure, there are times when we have no control of the situation that has brought us fear. But when we can make choices, let us do so in such a way that fear will not be a by-product. God has no desire for us to live a life of fear.
Prayer: Lord, give us Your wisdom to bring about life, not fear. Amen.
Has a choice from the past brought you fear?