COPING WITH FEAR
Reverend J. T. Pugh
We often see preachers and other people as well who seem to have to
have every right to succeed, but who miserably fail. I went to high
school with a young man whose parents were well able to give him a
college education. When he received his degree however, instead of
entering into a productive life profession, he came home and employed
himself in his father's filling station. His younger brother, who did
not choose to go to college, launched himself out in a business career
without an education and did what the family had hoped that the oldest
son would do. Why did the younger son, without an education, succeed
where the older son having much greater opportunity failed? We cannot
judge a person by outward appearance or by apparent assets. The most
important part of ourselves is hidden deep inside in the spiritual world
of subconsciousness and mental attitudes. All of us are a product of our
inward selves. The scripture tells us "As we think in our hearts, so are
we." Many preachers who should succeed and don't are prisoners of
negative thoughts and concepts, One of the most powerful of these
captors is fear. Since success and effectiveness depend upon the kind of
thoughts we think, it is absolutely impossible to achieve if enmeshed in
fearful thinking. Marcus Aurelius is said to have been one of the wisest
men who ever Lived. He stated; "A man's life is what his thoughts make
of it." If we put into our minds thoughts of fear, we will get thoughts
of fear out of our minds. If we fill our mind with resentment thoughts,
then resentment attitudes will emerge.
So, we must conclude that one of the greatest possible
accomplishments of any human being is to overcome fear, This is a true
statement because this question of overcoming fear is the pivot point
upon which many a preacher's success or failure is decided.
It should be a comforting thought to most of us that the greatest
people of the world have at one time been fearful people. They have
exercised their tremendous prerogative, however, of overcoming fear.
II. GOD DOES NOT WANT US TO FEAR
He has instructed us not to. God does not want our lives torn
with fear. Many times in the Bible, we are instructed to not fear.
Matthew chapter 14, Jesus asked the question to Peter, "0, ye of little
faith, why did you doubt?" Also in Matthew 17:6, Jesus commanded his
disciples at the time of transfiguration not to fear.
We are not to fear when the future seems dim and uncertain. "And the
Lord appeared unto him that same night and said, Fear not for I am the
God of Abraham and I will bless thee and I will keep thee whithersoever
thou goest." Genesis 26:24. The same assurance that Abraham had is ours
also. Wherever God sends us, be assured that he will go with us. He is
there to keep us and to supply whatever strength or other needs we may
In the year of 1963, I resigned the wonderful church I was pastoring
in Port Arthur, Texas with the intention of going to Atlanta, Georgia.
During the time I was struggling with this decision of whether to go or
to stay, God gave me a peculiar yet wonderful assurance. It was at 2
a.m. in the morning when I was returning from the prayer room at the
church, I had not yet received clear directions of what to do. However,
between the church and the parsonage which was about a block's distance,
the Lord comforted my heart. Just before my feet touched the patio
leading to the back door of the parsonage, I spoke aloud and said, "God,
what shall I do?" Very clearly, the Word of the Lord rang back in my
heart, "I will be with you if you go, and I will be with you if you
stay." He seemed to further say to me, "You will do a good work if you
go. You will do a good work if you stay. You will give your all if you
go and you will give your all if you stay. You are my partner. I trusted
you with my Name, my Spirit, and my church. I trust your decision on
this matter." On several other occasions since then, the Lord has seemed
to leave a particular decision to my discretion. This has been very
awesome and arresting.
I read of a procedure which great corporations employ in order to get
the very best out of their executives. It is called "corporate
management." For example, one corporation placed in the hands of one man
sixteen million dollars. They instructed this executive to exercise full
prerogative and decision-making powers in developing a leisure
department in their corporation. Obviously, if he succeeded he would be
rich. On the other side of the coin, if he failed, he would be washed
out. This particular man tremendously succeeded. The corporation took
him as a partner and backed him all the way. This is our position in
God. Did not our lovely Lord say, "Lo, I am with you always, even unto
the end of the world?"
We are not to fear when financial problems arise, "And Elijah said
unto her, fear not but do as thou hast said, but first break me some
bread." I Kings 17:13. The Prophet was asking the widow woman to put the
Lord's work absolutely first. She was without question to step out upon
God's promises and perform the apparent duty at hand. She was to leave
the rest to God. This she did.
We are not to fear in danger. "Fear not for they that be with us are
more than be with them." II Kings 6:16. When the eyes of the servant
were opened, he saw the mountains filled with chariots and with the army
of the Lord. The Lord has told us that his angels are given charge over
us, and that they would keep us wherever we went.
We are not to fear in weakness. "Fear not, "For I am with thee, be
not dismayed for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee: yea, I will help
thee: yea I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness."
Since the Lord has always blessed me with an abundant amount of
health and strength, there was one time in my life that I seriously
doubted that I could cope with pain. Since I had not known much pain in
my life, I was not sure that I could handle it, God graciously allowed
me, however, to come into a situation of terrible, tremendous pain. This
lasted for three days and nights. There was absolutely no rest for me at
all. In the midst of it, I was forced to continue my activity, On the
third day I collapsed in the pulpit. I did not regain consciousness
until about an hour later. How grateful I was to be without pain when I
came to. How grateful I have been since then for that particular
experience. It has assured me that I, with the help of God, could cope
Thus, God is able to take our weaknesses and turn them into strong
points for us. Doctors tell us that it is almost unknown the amount of
stress and suffering a given person can endure. You are able to face the
future and to cope with it. Don't be afraid.
We are not to fear loneliness. "Fear not for I have redeemed thee. I
have called thee by thy name. Thou art mine. When thou passest through
the water, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not
overflow thee; when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be
burned; for I am the Lord thy God." Isaiah 43:1-3.
The further assurance of the Lord is, "I will never leave thee nor
In the latter part of the year of 1963 during a period of fasting and
prayer, the Lord gave to me a vision. I shared this vision with a few of
my close friends. The meaning of the vision was that in the future, the
Lord would lead me down a lonely road. Several times since then in
breaking out in bold ventures such as the "Endtime Revival", etc., I
have been reminded of what the Lord showed me in the year of 1963. Yet,
I can truthfully say that in loneliness I have never been lonely. God's
grace is sufficient for every situation. Our Lord does not want us to
fear. The fear of loneliness often paralyzes men of God so that they
cannot make forthright, unselfish decisions. God help us to rise above
III. MANY OF THE THINGS WE FEAR NEVER MATERIALIZE. THEY ARE IN
If our subconscious minds and thought patterns are conditioned by
fear, we are prone to think fear thoughts. Our imagination is thus able
to construct unreal fantasies.
Ironically, however, our system cannot tell the difference between
the real and actual world and the world and the world of our
imagination. Thus, it reacts the same way whether the situation be an
actual one or a horrible creation from our fear-inspired thought
Let me give this example. As all fathers, I was very protective
relative to my daughter when she was a teenager. I feared for her
safety, etc. This, on several occasions, gave birth to imaginations
which seemed quite real to me. On more than one occasion I found myself
apologizing to her after falsely accusing her of particular activities.
Some of my accusations were groundless and very disappointing to her.
Why did I make them? They had a fear base.
More than one pastor can remember over-reacting to a certain
situation in the church. Later, he found to his sorrow that his
imagination had added much to it. The thing he feared seemed to take on
the shape of actuality. Moved by fear, he struck out boldly and perhaps
blindly at a problem which may not have really existed at all.
This is the equivalent of a person fleeing blindly from a supposed
bear he met on a path leading through some dark woods. Later on upon a
closer examination, he made the discovery that it was only a bush which
he saw. But his fears made the bush seem very real. The rest of his
physical and spiritual makeup responded to the judgment of his conscious
mind. Unfortunately, his mind was so perverted by fear it was not able
to render clear judgment.
IV. FEAR HAS MANY FACES.
A. False courage
A boy with three other teenagers in the car with him may push the
automobile to a high rate of speed. The conditions of driving may
constitute a very dangerous situation. Does this mean that the boy at
the wheel is fearless? Most of the time, absolutely no. Perhaps he is
more frightened than anyone else in the car. Then why would he
jeopardize their lives? The truth of the matter is that the boy at that
moment has two strong fears. (1) He is actually afraid of the dangerous
situation he is in. (2) He is more afraid of the image of fear that may
be hung on him by his failure to prove to his companions that he is not
afraid. He is more afraid of seeming to be afraid than he is of the
actual danger. He does not dare acknowledge his fear of a possible
wreck. Thus, he clothes himself with false courage. He has sought to
disguise his fear.
People who seem to be cool to their associates, aloof and withdrawn,
are often afraid. They are only confident in those areas that they can
dominate. They either must be completely over their fellowman or
completely under him. They could not dare to be under another unless the
one they had subjected themselves to was a person of tremendous esteem.
They lack the confidence to meet their fellow man on an even keel. Thus,
they disguise their fear by the "cold shoulder" act.
Some people who seem to be very humble are not humble at all. If and
when they are allowed into a situation they can dominate, they become
absolutely incorrigible. They put up a front of humility in situations
where they are afraid. They cover their fear with a moral virtue.
Blind loyalty is not always what it seems to be. The person who
subscribes unreservedly to the person and actions of a superior does so
many times through the incentive of self-preservation. They are afraid
of striking out on their own. Their future, security, etc., seems to
them to depend upon the goodwill of their superior. They are afraid to
jeopardize these possibilities in any way. They cover this fear with a
disguise of loyalty, however, deep down inside of such a person real
loyalty may not be found at all.
People who seem compelled to always be out front are not always the
self-assured, confident people they appeared to be. The thing which
causes them to sacrifice, drive themselves, and strive to always be cast
in the best light possible may be nothing more than fear. These people
feel strongly compelled to have the goodwill and acclaim of their fellow
man. They would be extremely frightened indeed to find themselves in the
shadows. They must constantly have the assurance of the crowd.
Quick and strong reaction during the rising of a controversial point
is often a product of fear. The defender feels strongly identified with
the subject he is defending. The more sure he is of himself and of his
subject, the less defensive he will be. Insecurity and fear lying deep
beneath the base of the given proposition, however, will spark a
volcanic reaction. He feels to lose an argument is also to lose face. He
is too fearful and insecure to allow this.
Strange as it may seem, there are many people today who prefer the
security of a bed and being waited on rather than the insecurity of
life's busy arena. Consequently, they remain ill. There must have been a
strong reason why Jesus asked the man at the pool, "Wilt thou be made
whole?" before he healed him. Healing would mean a change of life for
him. Healing would mean responsibilities which he presently was not
forced to shoulder. Jesus wanted to be sure that he was willing to face
up an actual, real busy life. It is said that 50% of the people today
who claim sickness are not sick at all. They are afraid.
V. WHY IS IT HARD TO COPE WITH FEAR?
A. Since we do not recognize fear inasmuch as it comes to us in
disguise, our response to given situations is often destructive. The
people involved are sometimes surprised that we would so react. They
cannot always know that deep within us is a dark fear which has sparked
this adverse reaction. When an attempt is made to rectify the situation,
only the symptoms are dealt with. The deep underlying cause of fear goes
undetected. The person who has reacted even under the most tactful
reconciliations is still made to look foolish.
B. Proper response to certain situations would break the fear cycle.
lt would open the door for a further friendly compatible response from
the other party. Thus, a firm base of friendship and compatibility would
be built. A climate would be created that would dispel fear and cause
the person thus formerly affected by it to bloom out into a personality
very lovely and pleasing.
C. But fear prompts us to actions directly opposite from that which
would break us out of the fear syndrome.
1. Hidden fear moves us to self-defense when self- defense is not
needed and is altogether improper.
2. Fear causes us to withdraw when for the sake of a cause which
we may be representing we need to be very bold and aggressive.
3. Fear causes us to treat as enemies those who would be our
Obviously, we get reactions from all three of these situations we
have mentioned here. Thus, our fears are further confirmed. All of us
preachers have counseled people who have been in the process of seeking
divorce. We have found neither party involved had the courage to risk
the loss of face. Each of the parties involved often expressed their
desire that their home be put back together. They often say that they
are willing to meet the other halfway, but almost in the same breath
they declare that the other party must make the first move. They are
small and afraid, They cannot risk the loss of face. Thus, they turn
into a "hider." They are not confident or hold enough to aggressively go
out and seek to put the matter back together again. So, they wait. They
hope that someone else will come and find them. Finally, when the
divorce is granted, they later discover that they have gained their
freedom still a slave of fear.
Jesus Christ was not a hider, He taught that his people were not to
be hiders. He rather taught that we were to be vulnerable. Jesus Christ
himself practiced vulnerability. He was entirely open. Though God of
Heaven, He was aggressive in the making the first approach toward
reconciliation. He laid himself open for refusal, insult, and affront.
An He was insulted and rejected. But He was never a hider; He was a
seeker. "The Son of man has come to seek and to save that which was
lost." Why was He a seeker? Because He was not afraid.
Fear, on the other hand, keeps us back from being completely honest.
We are afraid to submit ourselves. We are afraid to confess our
weaknesses and ask for help. We become a hider, a game player, and
perhaps a hypocrite. We find ourselves saying things which we do not
exactly believe. We only say them because we think we are expected to
say them. Then we are filled with guilt and despise ourselves.
Of all the emotional forces that pattern our individual lives, fear
has the most insidious power to make us do what we shouldn't do and
leave undone the things we should do. Fear is as lust itself. The only
reward of lust is more lust. Lust is never satisfied neither is fear. It
tends to become stronger and stronger the longer a person lives.
VI. WE CAN BECOME SO CONDITIONED TO FEAR THAT WE DO NOT WISH TO ESCAPE
The pattern of action and response of our life has been one
conditioned entirely by fear. All of our lives, we have been moved to
actions that confirmed our fears rather than relieved them. A person who
has had one bad marriage experience and become divorced tends to be more
cautious in their next marriage venture. They tend to evolve into a
hider. A hopeless situation is created in a church or any organization
when more hiders are involved than seekers.
It is a sad thing that some people will never be rescued from this
terrible syndrome. When a man is first introduced to a jail cell, he
revolts against it. It takes days for him to condition himself to his
small world, but in time he can arrive at the place where he prefers the
security the cold, dismal confines offer than the risk and challenge of
a busy world outside. He has shrunk himself to fit it, he has become a
double prisoner, a prisoner of his surroundings and also a prisoner of
Why is it that we sometimes circulate rumors and talk about other
people? Is it because that we wish to prove that other people are
untrustworthy? Thus, we are justified in not trusting them, We are
justified in hiding and not making an open approach.
It is said that when a child is born into this world, it possesses
only two fears. One is a fear of loud noise and the other is a fear of
falling. All other fears we may have are learned from other sources. It
is a wonderful thing to know that what we have leaned, we can unlearn.
We should not allow ourselves to be brainwashed by impositions of
negative nature that come to us from the world about, Let us consider
some of the sources of fear.
VII. WE GET OUR FEARS FROM OUR FAMILIES.
I once pastored a family who was plagued tremendously by insecurity.
The mother of the family continually cautioned her children to beware of
other people. She did not want them getting too close in fellowship to
others. She cautioned them that even their best friends were intending
to hurt them. Obviously, this same fear which the mother possessed was
passed on to her children.
For the sake of an example, let us fabricate a story here. It will be
one which you can identify with. You have known families such as the one
I am about to imagine here.
First, we start with the father. He is a strong man, absolutely
physically fit. He has not known much sickness, etc., in his lifetime
and hence does not have much compassion for weakness of any kind. He is
full of pride. He wishes the son to recommend some things perhaps that
he does not have in his own life. He declares that his son is not going
to be a sissy. He states that any child bearing his name is going to be
capable of making his own way in the world.
Perhaps some of these blustering exhibitions of a parent's strength
are nothing more than a cover up for fear and weakness, but at any rate
they are projected into the life of his son. There is much rough-housing
with his boy. They engage in one-sided wrestling bouts. On the surface
it seems good natured, but the boy knows at any moment his father's
temper can flare up. He also knows that his Dad can he rude and brutal.
He has experienced physical hurt from his father. His father not only
exercises his muscles upon his boy but also his will to completely
dominate him. The boy is always the loser in every situation. He most
always loses in a humiliating way. He struggles against impossible odds.
He tries to keep the tears back. Finally, his father shoves him away and
expertly trip him in the process. He laughs loudly as his son goes
tumbling in extreme embarrassment and humiliation to the floor.
This pattern is carried on in the father's general behavior toward
his son. There is constant teasing. This constitutes a form of pressure
which the son is never completely freed from. Also, there are words of
scorn that burn deep within the boy. The boy would like the good
pleasure of his father and thus seeks to please him. Then there are
moments of sudden rage when the son cowers in abject fear; but on the
other hand, there are times of tolerant affection that comes from the
father. It is not outright affection. There is no honest admission that
he loves the boy or cares for him. Sometimes it is expressed in whimful
indulgences which he engages in toward his boy.
What is the resulting response from this little boy? First of all, we
must know that he cannot respond as an animal, but as a human being. An
animal only has his physical body to preserve but the little boy has two
things to preserve, his body and also his ego. The law of self-
preservation for both of these is equally strong. To protect his ego, he
must build a self-image that he can tolerate and be happy with. He must
believe that he is a capable, willful person.
This particular working assumption of the kind of person he is takes
a while to gather together. In the process he decides how important or
unimportant he actually is. He also discovers what he can do, and what
he cannot do.
In putting together this image, he is extremely limited. He has never
lived before thus the only material he has to work with is that which is
supplied by others. So he must estimate himself by the way that his
parents treat him. He has no grounds for feeling important if they treat
him as being unimportant. He must conclude that they are the true
example of what human beings are supposed to be. He has no other
measurement to measure other lives by.
He can protect neither his body nor his pride. He is a victim of his
environment. He is captive of his parents. To make matters worse, his
situation is so very permanent. if he were exposed to embarrassment and
dominance for one day, he may survive; but this continues day after day-
-day after day, month after month, year after year.
It would be impossible for him to survive at all if he did not take
some source of relief. Where shall he find his relief? Most of the time
he gets it from daydreaming. He fashions in his imagination a strong
companion which he gives an identity and a name to. He talks with this
imagined companion; they confide in one another. This companion may be
strong enough to stand up to his Dad in his moments of fantasy.
Also, he daydreams about running away. He thinks about where he would
go and lays plans of what he would do when he got there.
Then there are times when he thinks about dying. If he thought that
his dying would be grief to his father, this particular fantasy becomes
more attractive. These fantasies are actually more satisfying than
actual lying, The more he engages in them, the more real they become.
Perhaps one day his father catches him shouting and encouraging his
imagined companion to beat his father up. His father overhears him say,
"Hit him again, kick him; knock him down:" When the boy looks up and
sees his father standing there, he is terror-stricken. At last his
father has caught up with him. But his dad, not knowing what it is all
about, is pleased. He feels that after all his son is going to be the
tough, strong individual that he wishes him to be.
The boy in time grows guilty. His conscience begins to assert itself.
He feels like that he should not be a coward. He is condemned because he
hates his father. He knows that he should love him.
So, the source of relief which he had for awhile becomes a trap of
torture. When he engages in it, his better self reminds him that what he
is doing; the thoughts he is thinking; the imaginings of his heart are
wrong. Thus, he becomes afraid of his own thoughts. He sees his thoughts
as being dangerous. He may be found out. His true self may be revealed.
He sees also his thought as being wrong. they are contrary to the image
of his father, and what he has been taught.
He sinks lower in his personal estimation of himself. He comes to
believe that he deserves to be rejected. His self-image becomes fised,
and that self-image is of an unworthy person that deserves punishment.
The source of all of this is fear of his father.
VIIl. WE GET FEARS FROM OTHER PEOPLE.
In a given locality, at a given time, a group of people may act and
react upon one another so as to produce a fear structure that imprisons
them. Entire districts can become negative. The first reaction to any
given point in question can be negative. Men of leadership can be set
and patterned by fear. Their influence and statements tend to confirm
the latent fear which already exists in many of their constituents
hearts. Thus, a dark, gray shroud of fear envelopes all of their
activities. All of them become hiders. They play a game of hiding from
one another. Because of fear they cannot tolerate any descent or probing
question. Yet, on the other hand, deep down they are guilt ridden
because they are not absolutely true to themselves. They are captives of
one another. Each is saying the thing he feels he is expected to say.
IX. WE GET FEAR FROM EXPERIENCE.
Let's construct here a supposition which may illustrate better our
point. Suppose you were looking out your kitchen window. You saw a
beautiful deer grazing in a field behind your house. All at once the
deer lifted its head and fled from the field. It gracefully jumped over
the fence and disappeared into the woods. You stood at the window and
constructed in your mind the place, etc. which you felt like the deer
would go. It may be deep in the woods near a patch of briars. You
feature the deer quietly laying down, and in time tucking its head in
its flank and going to sleep. We know that this particular supposition
could actually happen.
Now let us look at some of the things the deer would not have done.
1. He would not reproach himself for running away. He did that which
was natural. He was only attempting to preserve himself.
2. The deer did not lay in anguish and think of what he should have
done. He simply made a decision and carried it through. The matter
3. He did not snub the smaller deer who came around. An inferior
complex was not created because of his running away. He did not need
to take this out on his fellow animals.
4. He did not seek to break down the bushes nor destroy anything else
about him as if they were an enemy to him. He did not project his
frustration out on his surroundings.
5. He did not convert his humiliation into sickness. Sleeplessness
did not go from his eyes. He did not form a stomach ulcer. The matter
was carried through, over with,and forgotten.
But we are not an animal. We have more than a body. We also have an
ego which we feel needs protected just as much as our physical bodies.
We do not want to be embarrassed. We wish to feel like we are admired,
accepted, and trusted. Thus we not only fear for the well being of our
physical bodies, but we also fear for the well being of our image.
What caused the great depression? It is said that there was plenty of
money. It is said that there was a great need for a marketed product. It
is said that we had the capability to market, sell, and buy. Under such
circumstance it seems there should have been no depression. And indeed
this is exactly so. The depression started because people began to grow
afraid. It was like the clattering fall of dominoes. All of it was
precipitated through fear. Finally a president came to the United States
who stated, "We have nothing to fear bur fear itself". Only then did we
begin to climb up out of the dreadful depression.
For years since however there have been people who have remembered
the depression. All of their business dealings, decisions, and
protections are based upon their memory of the depression. The imagined
deer which we have talked about does not have this type of fear to
confront. It does not have an ego to protect.
Very often the fearful person becomes desperate for several reasons.
1. He fears to see himself as he really is. His ego will not allow
it. So the alcoholic goes on for years refusing to admit that he is
an alcoholic. On the other hand in the church there are many dear
people who simply cannot submit themselves to another. Their ego will
not allow it.
2. There are people who fear situations which they do not believe
they can handle. It may be that they are very capable of handling the
situation. Their fears have however, immobilized them.
Fear often imitates good qualities but produces different results
than would come from the real quality. For instance, people sometimes
readily agree with others. They, on the surface, are taken for a
pleasant, very agreeable person. However, they may be using what is
known as, "passive aggression". They will agree with you to your face
but in time they will carry their point and have their way in a subtle
arrangement behind your back. Such procedures however do not bring about
Another good quality which fear imitates is love. Fearing to loose
the love of another party the fear captive may simulate tremendous
devotion. However, it is unreal and hollow. The simulator himself is a
very miserable person. The scripture tells us, "The perfect love casteth
X. WE MUST FACE UP TO OUR FEARS.
A. We must first of all understand ourselves.
We must know why we act the way that we do. A minister who is quite
well known in Pentecostal ranks related to me that for years he lived in
quandary. And then somehow he began to discover why he reacted the way
he did on a given circumstance. He began to see the part that his past
has played in his life. This brought to him a higher form of self-
respect. He no longer was so completely deceived by the varied spaces
his fear appropriated. He began to recognize reality for what it was.
B. In case of tragedies or problems it is good to realistically list
all of the possible things that could happen in this situation.
Every negative and bad thing that could arise of this particular
given situation should be listed. Once all of these tragic possibilities
are down on paper we can take a good look at them. On another sheet of
paper we should list all of our assets that we would have left even if
the worst thing happened which we have listed. After we have listed the
tragic possibilities and also the assets we would have left in the event
the possibilities became reality, we will come to see that we shall
survive after all. After we have done with our writing we realistically
will observe that most of the bad things we have listed will never
happen anyway. But pulling the cover off of it and facing it out takes
away the mystery and the fear.
There is a great merit in standing up to our fears. I read the
account of a fighter pilot who flew from the deck of an aircraft carrier
in World War II. Obviously his work was very dangerous. Sometimes the
fog came in and they could not find the carrier. Sometimes heavy seas
arose which made it very difficult to land the plane. Then there was
also the danger of combat. There were mornings, and times which he was
very fearful of climbing into his plane. He discovered however, by going
down into the hold of the ship and standing where the hydraulic piston
retracted after flinging the planes into the air he gained courage.
Indeed it took courage to stand close to the discharge of this gigantic,
powerful catapult. But facing danger down in the hold of the ship gave
him courage to face danger on the deck.
It is said that "a brave man is not one who is never afraid. Such a
person is only a fool. A brave man is one who though being afraid goes
ahead and does what is practical". I once heard of a woman who was
extremely afraid of lightning. She one day sternly told herself that she
could not live the rest of her life like that. So when the next thunder
storm came along she put on her appropriate clothes, got an umbrella,
and went straight out into the lightning and the storm. At first she was
horrified. But bit by bit she found her fear ebbing away. Never again in
her life was she so tremendously effected again by fear. The wise man
Emerson once said, "Do the thing that you fear and the death of fear is
XI. INVOLVE YOURSELF IN A CAUSE GREATER THAN YOURSELF.
The heart of fear is self. It is nothing more than self-preservation.
Sometimes the preservation of our physical selves but more often the
preservation of our ego.
If we come to love and believe in a great cause and give ourselves
wholly and completely to it, it is obvious that our minds will be
removed from ourselves. This is why all of us need to commit ourselves a
new and a fresh unstinted dedication to God ever and always. As long as
self sits on the throne of our hearts we will know fear.
XII. BUILD HABIT PATTERNS OF OPTIMISM AND FAITH.
Fear starts as a little trickle across our minds. When we were a
child our mind was without the heavy pattern grooves of fear. But bit by
bit as we practice fear thoughts a pattern track is worn.
Faith is the opposite of fear. We must fill our lives with it. We
should not listen to negative situations. We should not read negative
things in the newspaper which we can do nothing about. Why should we? We
should be filled with faith, optimism, and drive.
None of us worry about how to get rid of the darkness that may be in
our bedroom. We simply turn the light on. This is how we get rid of
Fear has related cousins. One of them is hate. A person who hates is
drawn to fear. We are enabled better to get rid of fear by loving. By
being positive in all of our relationships in life. God does not want
his children to be imprisoned by fear.
Psalms 34:3 "I sought the Lord and he heard me and delivered me out
of all my fears".