Fear and faith have a lot in common, but live on two different sides of the fence. Joel Osteen reminds us that fear and faith “both ask us to believe in something that we cannot see”. Why then does it feel so natural and easy to choose fear, rather than to have faith?
In a world where negative news stories permeate, and media that resonates on all the tragedies of the world, it’s not a wonder that we can dwell on fear or picture the worst that can happen. The worst scenarios are all around us.
Our workplace is often filled with gossip and talks of all that does or can go wrong, and very little talk of what goes right. With all this negativity surrounding us, it can be very difficult to find faith strong enough to overpower the atmosphere of fear that engulfs us.
Here are some things to think about to fill in the gaps in the fence between fear and faith; and to build the wall that keeps fear from seeping through the fence posts.
Find ways to incorporate the positive.
Many pieces of our environment seem to be inundated with the bad things that happen in the world. Television, social media, radio and the internet all seem focused on tragedy, disappointment, and war against it all. Finding ways to limit how much damaging input we have is a first step in moving from fear to faith.
Today’s MSN Headlines
- Delta flier gets entire 160-seat jet to himself
- Police: 7 stabbed at White Supremacy rally in California
- 10 hurt after roller coaster plummets
- Shark bites surfer off N.C. coast
- The dirtiest foods you’re eating
My mom used to warn me as a girl, “watching that isn’t good for you”. I didn’t understand all that she meant by it. But I realize that there was a reason my parents didn’t let me watch all the scary movies that some of my friends got to watch.
As a mom, I was also picky about the types of video games my boys played. I had them focus on sports games and prohibited the war games and violent games that I felt drove the wrong message. I also used to have them name three good things about each other before they were allowed to make one gripe about their sibling. We can monitor and filter for ourselves in the same ways we do for our children.
If you’re struggling with fear, choose not to watch the news for a while and pick movies that have a more uplifting theme.
Find music that picks up your spirits and makes you dance.
Find inspirational input: YouTube videos (like Joel Osteen or encouraging TedTalks), inspirational books and passages, positive friends who encourage and support you, family and friends that make you smile.
One thing that works for me is finding ways to laugh. My biggest joy is to have my two sons in one room and to listen as they laugh together. They laugh about movies, remembering every line. They laugh about things they’ve done and the secrets they shared growing up- you know those ones they tell you years later about all the mischief you didn’t know about.
Meditate on the greatness of possibilities, rather than dwell on worst scenarios.
Meditating may sound like a scary word for some of us. It may drum up images of cross-legged Buddhist monks and chanting yogi. But really meditating can simply be placing your focus on something, thinking and speaking about it at great length (i.e., to dwell).
When we choose to dwell on fear, it can take a lot of our energy. Choose to take the same amount of energy and think and speak about the good scenarios.
When we have thoughts of fear, we typically play those messages in our head over and over until we believe them and make them come true. Repeat the words of faith over and over and over again; and in the same manner you will start to believe and make the good things come true.
Joel Osteen refers to this as inviting victory and abundance. Instead of inviting failure and disappointment, use the same energies and thought behaviors to invite success and joy.
Act on faith; refuse to act on fear.
Think about all the salesmen whose tactics are to incite fear, to get you to picture the worst possible scenario in order to make their sale. I’m not saying it’s wrong to prepare for things unseen, we should. But the same way we prepare for the worst- (buying long-term care insurance, disability insurance or saving up to cover 6 months of household expenses in case we lose our job)- we can also prepare for the abundance that can happen.
Acting on faith sometimes means putting yourself in the best position to meet the person of your dreams. Instead of never getting dressed up or not caring about taking care of your health because, “I’m never going to meet the right man anyway”, get dressed up and go out expecting that the man of your dreams is out there just waiting for you to show up.
Play your faith movie film
As your filling in the gaps in the fence with bricks, you’re building a wall that keeps the
fear on the outside.
You’re also creating a nice block wall that can act like your outdoor faith movie screen. Your wall will become stronger through practice and soon you’ll see the faith movie- the scenes of all the good that can happen– rolling in the places where the fear scenes used to seep through.