For as long as I can remember I have had a fear of heights. When I get to a certain height my stomach begins to flutter, my heart begins to race and my mind tells my body to go no further.
This fear has limited me in many ways.
I can’t clean the gutters on my house because they are too high (I know, some of you are thinking: “That’s a convenient excuse.”)
I will not go on a Ferris Wheel.
I will not cross certain bridges.
You might think that these things are not too limiting and in the grand scheme of things, their not. The problem is that my fear is not limited to just heights.
Because of my fear of failure I have not always pushed myself beyond my comfort zone.
Because of my fear of rejection I have tried to be someone that I am not and I have denied my God-given passions to please others.
Because of my fear of conflict I have not challenged or stood up to individuals when I should have.
Ultimately, fear is False Expectations Appearing Real. Because I have experienced failure, rejection and conflict at different times in my life (and it was unpleasant), my brain has been programmed to view these as negative and as a threat.
As a result, my first instinct to avoid these things at all costs.
So, how does one overcome fear? This is the question that Pete Wilson answers in chapter 5 of his book “Plan B: What Do You Do When God Doesn’t Show Up the Way You Thought He Would?”
In this chapter Pete gives a few answers to this question. He tell us to re-train our minds by learning what are legitimate fears and what is unnecessary worry and anxiety and to get a new perspective (that is Christ’s perspective) on worry and life.
Pete concludes the chapter by stating that the real problem with fear is a lack of faith. He says:
“We’ve lost confidence that our heavenly Father will take care of us” (pg. 61).
Unfortunately, I can totally relate to this. I know that this is the real issue behind my fears.
Pete also says:
“It’s a matter of focusing on what is important, putting first things first,which, of course is God’s Kingdom [Matthew 6:33] – his priorities, his plans, his agenda” (pg. 63).
In other words, we need to put all of our fears into the hands of the One who knows everything and then we need to move forward because we can trust Him!
What fears have limited your life? In what ways?
This is a continuation to our book club discussion of “Plan B”, by Pete Wilson. This week we’re in Chapter 5: Paralyzed. If you have a response, please add it below and add to the discussion. Whether you’ve read the chapter or not, please share your thoughts!