NUGGETS OF GOLD a monthly Blog by David Nofziger
March 24, 2020
“Fear not.” These two simple words are found throughout the Bible. God does not want us to live in fear. The Apostle Paul stated the same thing in II Timothy 1:7, “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” But sadly, many of us live with way too much fear and anxiety in our lives.
Fear is a powerful emotion, and it is meant to protect us. You are to be afraid when your life is in danger. Your body swings into action to protect you from a dangerous situation. Adrenalin begins to flow freely to give you strength. Your breathing becomes more shallow and intense to get as much oxygen to the body as possible. Your heart rate then increases to pump that oxygen rapidly to your muscles and brain. Your pupils dilate to help you see better, your hearing becomes more acute, and every sense in your body is enhanced to make you super aware of your surroundings. All of these reactions help prepare us to fight and survive the danger.
Unfortunately, most of the things we fear in our life are not really dangerous. Yes, they may feel scary, but in reality, they cannot harm us. If fear is a common emotion for you, all those body reactions that are meant to protect you, are actually hard on your body if they occur too frequently. Plus, that same emotion can also paralyze us, depending on the “fight or flight” response that we develop as a coping mechanism. God wants you healthy, and that is why He wants to help you conquer fear in your life.
I know it is hard to overcome fear, but let me give you a couple of guidelines to help. First of all, think rationally about the object of your fear or anxiety. The emotion may be very strong, but ask yourself, “Is this really a danger to me?” Most things that we fear are not truly dangerous. That means you can face the object creating fear and not be harmed physically. Once you determine rationally that the object of your fear cannot harm you, then you can begin to move toward the fear.
Now you’re thinking, “You are joking, right. Why in the world would I do that?” After years of counseling, I have learned an important truth. If you allow yourself to be paralyzed by fear or run from fear, the fear you feel will grow stronger. The opposite is also true. If you face fear and begin to move toward the object of fear, it becomes smaller and less scary.
But it is alright to move toward fear slowly. Take a step, your heart rate increases. That was hard but now relax. You are still okay. Take a deep cleansing breath and feel your heart rate slowing down again. When you feel ready, take another step. Feel the courage beginning to rise up inside you. Each step becomes a little easier – as long as you take it slow and remember to breathe and relax. In psychology, this is called exposure therapy or desensitization. Eventually, you will discover that you are no longer afraid of that situation, and the resulting joy and freedom is contagious. You desire to conquer all fear in your life.
If after practicing these steps, you find that the fear is still too great and continues to paralyze you or rob you of the life that God wants to give you, then do some further research on overcoming fear or seek some professional help. Life is too short to be paralyzed by a fear that keeps you from living life in all of its fullness.
Remember, God wants your life to be filled with “power, love, and a sound mind.” Let me close with another encouraging word from the Apostle Paul, “Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.” (Philippians 4:6-7 – The Message Bible)
David Nofziger has been the director and lead counselor at Hope Alive Counseling Services in Defiance since 1989 and author of “Brain Washed, Transforming Your Self-Image through the Amazing Love of God.” He and his wife, Sue, attend Family Christian Center in Defiance where they head up the church’s mission program. Visit HopeAliveCounseling.com for more information.
Nuggets of Gold is a monthly Blog focused on Personal growth, Marriage Improvement, and Parenting Issues. Your comments can be entered below. They are always welcome and suggestions for future posts are appreciated. Thank you for allowing me to share these thoughts with you.
BRAIN WASHED Transforming Your Self-Image Through the Amazing Love of God, by David Nofziger.
If you enjoy “Nuggets of Gold,” I would like to recommend this book to you which brings you an entire pot of gold. This pot of gold is not at the end of an imaginary rainbow, but is found in the transforming power of the love of God.
The key to fulness of life is discovering who we are in Christ. Our self-image is one of the most important factors affecting our growth and wellbeing, and we need a Christ-Centered Self-Image. In this book you will learn how to allow the truth of God’s love to penetrate deep into your heart and transform you in such a way that you take on the “Image of Christ.”
All profits from books that are sold through the Hope Alive Counseling Website go to counseling scholarships for clients with financial needs.