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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Facing our fears

We all have fears and worries that can many times overwhelm us and keep us from being all that God wants us to be.

Last night Bobby Jenks lost a game for Chicago White Sox. He's a reliever for the team and had the lead 2-1 going into the ninth. He loaded the bases and then the Tampa Bay Rays took advantage and bam - it was 3-2.

What really stood out though was the look of lostness, even fear in his eyes. Something is going on - I don't know what - but it looked like he was more afraid of losing than he was winning.

We do that as well. We can let our fears stop us dead in our tracks and fail to reach our full potential.

Many fear germs, heights, people, failure, success, closed in spaces, leaving things undone, the list goes on and on.

Here are the names of some fears you might not know about:

There is the fear of:

Air swallowing - Aerophobia
Anything new - Neophobia (that's one that is predominate in the kingdom of God)
Bald people - Peladophobia
Bathing - Ablutophobia
Belly buttons - Omphalophobia
Church - Ecclesiophobia (again one we struggle with in the kingdom)
Constipation - Coprastasophobia
Ideas - Ideophobia (are you seeing a theme here?)
Mother in law - Pentheraphobia

We all deal with certain fears.

Psychologist have what they call, "exposure therapy," and they aren't far off in that.

In other words I am to do the thing I fear the most. I am to face my fears. The way to overcome my fears is not to run from them but to embrace them and deal with them head on.

As an example: I have a fear of heights - I went skydiving.

Mark Batterson writes:

"I recently went to the doctor's office for an extensive battery of allergy tests. My doctor wanted to find out what allergens trigger my asthma. The nurse-practitioner pricked my forearm in 18 places with different allergens and said, "Don't scratch." It was like Chinese water torture. I had to resist the urge to scratch the itch for 15 of the longest minutes of my life!

But testing for allergies isn't a pointless exercise in cruel and unusual punishment, even though it might seem like it. It is a form of reverse engineering. My doctor wasn't satisfied with treating my allergy symptoms. She wanted to discover the root causes of my reactions. And the solution isn't just avoiding those allergens. The cure is actually exposing myself to them in small doses.

Here is my point. The cure for the fear of failure is not success. It's failure. The cure for the fear of rejection is not acceptance. It's rejection. You've got to be exposed to small quantities of whatever you're afraid of. That's how you build up immunity."

I like what he says. Start out small, but face your fears. Don't let them overwhelm you. Live in the Holy Spirit. Be bold with the Spirit of God within you....and remember, God hasn't given you a spirit of fear but of peace and love and of a sound mind." (2 Timothy 1:7)

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