Fear does not appear “in a vacuum.” Just as Gideon’s 7 years of terror at the hands of the Midianites set him up to be fearful, something set you up to be controlled by fear, and something serves to trigger that fear. The setup occurred in the past, while the trigger occurs in the present. Finding the truth about your past fearful setup will provide wisdom as to why you are being controlled by fear in the present. “Surely you desire truth in the inner parts; you teach me wisdom in the inmost place.” (Psalm 51:6)
Former Fear-Producing Experiences
· Traumatic experiences: Childhood sexual abuse or rape; Tragic accident; Divorce or the death of a loved one or a cherished pet.
· Scare tactics used on you by others: Threats of violence by a parent; Threats of violence by siblings; Threats of violence by others.
· Underdeveloped sense of self-worth: Neglect, criticism, or ridicule; Poor school performance; Lack of musical, artistic, or athletic abilities.
· Parents or family members who displayed excessive fear: “My aunt had a panic disorder;” “My father was a constant worrier;” “My mother was fearful and overprotective.”
Realise the reason for your fear and tell yourself the truth about both the past and the present. “When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me.” (1 Corinthians 13:11)
· Denial of your own feelings: “I must suppress my pain.” “I must deny my disappointments.” “I must reject my anger.”
· Excessive need to please people: “I must keep everyone from getting angry.” “I must keep everyone happy.” “I must have everyone at peace with me.”
· Internalisation of stress: “I have a lot of hidden anxiety.” “I fail to admit stressful situations.” “I have no outlet for venting my emotions.”
· Strict or perfectionist parents or authorities: “I never pleased my parents.” “I never was good enough.” “I received harsh punishments.”
Realise the reason for your fear and let the Lord help you heal from your emotional hurts. “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:6–7)