The F Word

 

It’s almost 2018 and as the year comes to a close, most of us find ourselves in a time of reflection (whether wanted or unwanted). Honestly, I’ve been avoiding it. I’d rather shut my eyes to the things of yesterday and wake up new in my tomorrow. That’s just my nature. I hate doing anything that is inefficient and reflecting on the past seems to have no effect because I can’t change the past. I can’t go and take back the words I’ve spoken. I can’t take back the promises I didn’t keep and I can’t turn my failures into successes. All I can do is move forward, but in order to move forward effectively I have to look back at what I didn’t like about 2017. As I reflect, I realize that there was one constant in 2017 and that was… well… fear.

I spent so much of 2017 fearing something. And fear is sneaky and cunning. It manifests in all sorts of ways. It shows up as a feeling of dread amidst joyful times, simply to remind you that things may be great now, but things can always take a turn for the worst. It contorts itself into “what ifs” that keep you from taking positive steps toward your future. It comes in the night as anxious thoughts that fix your eyes on a tomorrow you have no control over. It makes you question every complement, doubt every promise, and fear every possible future. Fear left unchecked will steal your energy, your joy, and your hope and the worst of all is fear of failure.

Fear of failure will keep you from doing the very thing that will propel into your future and into your destiny. It is a cyclical type of destruction that makes you afraid to try and causes you to fail for lack of trying. What’s worse, now that you’ve tasted failure, it makes you even more fearful to try again.

Something I’ve learned in reflection is that all fear really roots back to fear of death. You’re probably thinking I’m just being morbid, but think about it. People who are afraid of heights, aren’t afraid of being high up. They’re afraid that if they’re really high up and they fall, that they’ll die. When you fear failure, you’re afraid that if you fail then that dream will die. You’re afraid that if you tell that person the truth that they’ll turn away from you for good and that relationship will die. Whether death in a literal or metaphorical sense, we all fear death and the finality of it.

But is death truly final. Isn’t there something or someone who outranks death. And if death doesn’t have the final say, then who does? Well, the bible says:

Since we, God’s children, are human beings—made of flesh and blood—He [being Jesus] became flesh and blood too by being born in human form; for only as a human being could He die and in dying break the power of the devil who had the power of death. Only in that way could he deliver those who through fear of death have been living all their lives as slaves to constant dread. – Hebrews 2:14-15 TLB

So whether you fear the death of a dream or a relationship or death itself, you can be free because the devil no longer has the power of death. God does and with it He has set us free of that fear. 2018 is the year of fearlessness. Who’s claiming it with me?

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