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Defining fear: how does fear define your life?

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Defining fear two ways...

Fear is an uneasy companion. Like a faithful pet eager to defend its owner from danger, fear can be the unpleasantly complementary escort that guards our safety in times of potential peril. At some point, each person is faced with a mode of "fight or flight". Though often viewed as a pessimistic emotion, being afraid triggers a psychological mechanism that can produce beneficial physical responses. The issue with being frightened arises when an alarm becomes panic or terror.

Unease and agitation are one thing but when anxiety and worry consume a person, negative reactions occur that may do more harm than good. In certain circumstances, fear can render a person paralyzed, unable to defend themselves or retreat. This typically occurs when the brain shuts down and the prefrontal cortex gives way to the Amygdala, allowing our emotional response to overshadow reason.

Consistently being oppressed over an extended period of time by the strangle-hold of fear leads to chronic stress and health issues. Our emotional, psychological, and physical well-being can be altered by extensive traumatic occurrences. To avoid falling into patterns of detrimental life choices, autoimmune conditions, and pain disorders, we must overcome our fears. We don’t triumph over our fears by suppressing them but by facing them head on with understanding and wisdom.

By learning our triggers, understanding our emotions, and applying the Word of God, we will be strengthened in the Lord against every horrific tactic of the enemy. Once we define our fears, we can overcome what attempts to terrorize us. In completing this task, we must understand that there are two types of fear. One combats the other. They are contrary in nature and often at conflict with one another. In this blog, we will focus on what they are and how they function in our daily lives.

Do not fear man but reverence God!
Do Not Fear

two types of fear

The fear of man and the fear of the Lord are two types of fear that wage war in our hearts. Below are listed scriptures that correspond to each type. Also listed are the original Hebrew translations, which shed light on the proper context of each term.

The Fear of the Lord

Proverbs 1:7

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction.”

Fear: Yirah (yir-aw’) meaning the exceeding awe or reverence for God’s omnipotence

Exceeding means it takes precedence over your circumstance and state of being. There should be a moral examination in the presence of almighty God that instills awe-inspiring reverence and repentant comfort.

No matter what circumstance you face, to respect the omnipotence of God is to reap the first fruits of knowledge. This knowledge speaks to a holy concern we should have in marveling at the truth of God’s integrity. Skilled in our meditations of our relationship to Him, we can stand boldly in His wisdom and instruction against the lies, threats, and destructive formations of our enemies.

By definition, only a fool should fear what has already been defeated. The LORD God, in His sovereignty protects and provides for His children. As citizens in His Holy Kingdom, we are co-heirs with Christ to His promises of resilience, power, and grace. To say that I will fear nothing but fear itself, I am personally referring to the reverence I have for my LORD God, Yahweh!

The Fear of Man

Proverbs 29:25

“Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe.“

Fear: Charadah (khar-aw-daw’) meaning trembling, fear, anxiety; terror, dread, violently

Why would I dare fear mankind; unless I’m too ignorant to have respect or reverence for the LORD God? Proverbs 29:25 presents a very different type of fear than Proverbs 1:7. This is not reverential in nature or respective of personhood. This is the fear that does harm if not tamed and corrected. This fear of mankind is our abandonment of yirah, which by default lures us into the certain snare of our emotions, rather than standing knowledge of God’s power.

Charadah is a skilled companion that shrewdly escorts us into the noose of our frightened imaginations. We are to know that we are kept safe in the Lord, trusting Him through it all. However, anxiety, terror, dread, and violence often seem to leave a more powerfully immediate impression than God does when we are not intentional and consistent in meditation on the knowledge of the LORD. Don’t let what you see, denounce what you know! Our eyes lie to us all the time but God’s Word has never spoken anything but the truth.

In what ways do we set aside yirah for charadah? How do we deny our reverence of God by giving in to our fear of man? Ego, pride, acceptance, loneliness, desire, and loyalty are all main factors in why we choose to neglect God’s knowledge in our battle for man’s approval. Though this list is not exhaustive, many of us succumb to mankind's dominance over our behaviors due to perception and acceptance.

We’ve all given in to the fear of missing out or not wanting to disappoint someone we want to impress. There are times when we give into the pressure our peers put on us because we’d rather be mistreated than not included. Whether we crave attention or submit to avoid abuse, we all suffer moments when we choose irrational behaviors convinced by the tremors of our circumstances. These realities may exist but can be rendered null and void when we repent, turn to God, and trust in His safety.

how does fear define your life?

How does fear govern your life? Are you ruled by your emotions or is the LORD God sovereign over your mind? If you meditate on the power of the Lord, you won’t have to dwell on the circumstances that threaten your peace. Trust God’s knowledge, boldly proclaiming His word against the folly of your frightened imaginations. In Proverbs 29:25, to be kept safe in the LORD is to sagab (saw-gab’) or to be set inaccessibly high, exalted securely above all harm.

Matthew 10:28 provides this contrast between fear of God and man:

Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.

God created all creation. He made all of mankind. No creation is greater than its Creator. There is no need to fear man’s opinion of you. God will rescue you from an abusive situation. Trust in the LORD God with all your heart. Prepare for Him a stage to do marvelous works in your life. Stand boldly in the knowledge of the Word of God and watch Him become a Stronghold not terror can penetrate. When the fear of the Lord dominates your heart, the fear of man will no longer define how you react to adversity.

Thank You and God Bless!

Thank you for reading this blog. Your support and contribution is treasured here. Please continue to share this content so that God may work through us to be a benefit to others. I invite you to leave a comment and stay tuned in for the next blog. I pray that this blesses you and honor’s God. Let’s continue growing together as kingdom citizens in Christ. Show love, be kind, and trust in God. Thank you and God bless.

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