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Backing down the bullies

May 10, 2020

Fear often tries to masquerade as wisdom. So…in these days of upheaval when there is much to discern, how can we tell the two apart? Is it even possible?

Actually, it is. Fear and wisdom come from different sources, and if you struggle to discern the sources, you can still discern the fruit.

Fear will steal your peace and stir the pot of anxiety.

Wisdom will settle your spirit, even when it requires you to employ caution, shrewdness, and resolve.

The Anxiety Factor will tell you much about which voice has captured your ear. If it’s not the voice you want to hear, you will have to actively and purposefully steer yourself away from the fuel fear uses to set your brain on fire with anxiety. And at first it may seem as if you can only keep your mind off fear’s suggestions for about 5 seconds at a time. That’s normal, so don’t give up if you find that’s the case for you. Fear is a bully used to eating your lunch and stealing your milk money, and you will have to stand up to it by filling its space with things of hope and light. In other words, take back its territory.

It’s a counterintuitive picture, isn’t it? Rather like a single delicate daisy standing against a raging tornado. But in this case, hope and light really are stronger than fear. They are backed by a higher authority and a superior power. Our job is to make lots of space for them while minimizing any gateways fear is using to terrorize us.

What does that look like on a practical level? For me it’s less news, less social media, hitting the snooze button on social media friends who have a contagious case of fear/anxiety, less letting my mind wander unchecked because it can end up in some pretty questionable neighborhoods that are still in the process of renewal. More making art, more talking to God and listening to him, more thinking about the ways of Jesus and his kingdom, more awareness of beauty around me, more gratitude.

Maybe your less-and-more list will look different from mine, but the bottom line is that if you want wisdom to be a settling, calming, peaceful influence in your life and you want fear kicked to the curb, you will have to make that list and be firm about enforcing it. Nobody can do it for you.

But trust me…if you do it, you’ll have a powerful entourage backing you up and cheering you on. You may not see them with your physical eyes…but they are there.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. May 10, 2020 11:20 am

    I’m in Romans right now. Choice is the huge point God keeps making to me. Choice between life and death. Choice between serving sin and serving Him. Making a list sounds like a good way to help make the right choices. Thank you!

    • May 10, 2020 10:48 pm

      God’s always given us choices, even when what we choose might potentially cause him pain. It blows me away when I consider the depth of that.

  2. May 10, 2020 12:45 pm

    Truth spoken, my friend. ♥️

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