By Kermit Rowe
(Kermit is a relationship facilitator and pastoral counselor with us at Encompass, providing coaching in Relationship Skills and Parenting for Kid's Sake.)
There's a powerful song that has been making its way up the contemporary Christian charts recently called "Fear Is A Liar," by Zach Williams. In my experience as a pastor, counselor, husband, father, brother, friend ... son of God ... I have both seen and personally experienced the negative truth of those four little words.
We also know that many times what we fear turns out to be nothing. I came across a post on Huffington Post recently that exposed just how often we buy into that deception.
Takes me back to my childhood when an unsavory friend was trying to get me to do something I know I shouldn't do.
"Come on. Do it! What are you afraid of?"
"I'm not afraid of nothing!" I would counter, defiantly.
Of course, that's the most insidious of lies. We all kind of know that. We know that many times what we fear turns out to be nothing.
Fear is not only a liar, but according to a recent study (cited in the Huffington Post), 85 percent of the time and energy we choose to give to worry/fear of the future is given to things that never end up happening. And of the 15 percent of the time it did happen, 79 percent of the subjects found that either they handled the difficulty better than expected or were taught a lesson worth learning by the difficulty.
So 97 percent of the time we allow ourselves to worry/fear the future, we are getting worked up about ... nothing. We are being affected negatively by lies, or the very least exaggerations and misconceptions. Check out the 8/25/15 post by Don Joseph Goewey on the Huffington Post.
Sounds like the attack of an enemy: Distort, deceive and then destroy.
The impact can be paralyzing. As part of the song's chorus says: "He (fear/worry) will take your breath, stop you in your steps" ... "He will rob your rest, steal your happiness."
Maybe that's why "Fear not" (and variations of it) is the most repeated command in the Bible, by some counts appearing as many as 365 times (one for each day?!).
What are we to do? Let's use our free will to choose not to fall for it. Instead, turn to the truth that always sets us free. "Fear not."
Lavern & Ronda Nissley are co-directors of Encompass. Married since 1978, both enjoy coffee, riding their tandem bicycle and working together to build strong relationships.