Fearless people scare me because fearlessness often leads to foolish behavior. The KJV of the Bible translates 2 Timothy 1:7 as “God has not given us the spirit of fear but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” People quote it all the time and some folks say there is never a reason to be afraid! I call Bumble Stuff! There are certainly reasons to be afraid. Fear is a human emotion and all through the Bible we see the phrase “fear not” which means, people were afraid.
Fear is a normal human function and it serves a purpose. Fear is a signal to our bodies, like pain. Fear means that something bad might be coming next. Certain things instill fear. The entire chordata phylum of the animal kingdom, for my personal example. When you see your children run into the street, you are overcome by fear for their safety. If the company suddenly takes a huge financial loss, you may fear losing your job. Fear is a response to the very near (as in a scorpion lands on your bed) or extended (as in what if you die alone?) view into the future. It’s actually very human.
You don’t need to be fearless. What you need is what Paul references in that passage of 2 Timothy. You need courage in the face of fear. I finally went to my Interlinear Bible to look up the original Greek word. #biblenerdalert “Deilia” is the greek word used in 2 Timothy 1;7. It is a noun that means “cowardice.” Now that makes sense to me. God did not make us cowards. He gave us power, love, and a sound mind — to overcome our fears. We are more than conquerors.
Why is this so important to understand?
Well, because if you’re waiting for the fear to subside before you make your next move, it may never happen. Afraid to start the business, leave a city, start your family, rebuild a relationship…all of these can invoke fear in you. Rational or irrational, fear is a real emotion that can overtake you. But, the good news is that fear doesn’t need to be conquered. It can be more than conquered. It can be accompanied. Sometimes courage conquers fear. Other times, it simply pushes fear aside to get things done.
Is fear stopping you from doing something you know you ought to do? Then it’s time you go to God to get some courage. The Bible tells us that God doesn’t want us to be cowards. It takes bravery to live on purpose. Purposeful living means you will not be apart of the crowd. It means you will be criticized and ostracized. Does that scare you? Ask God to give you the courage you need to be the most powerful and purposeful version of yourself. You’ll be amazed at the transformation that takes place. You’ll be amazed what you can accomplish with a tummy full of butterflies.
So, make the next move. Fear not…or just muster up some courage to do it while you’re afraid.