Good Fear–Bad Fear: How Can We Know?

11 Jun

Cry out for help!

When I see books on fear, whether Christian or secular, I pick them up to get a new perspective.  Yesterday I grabbed the book, Fear and Other Uninvited Guests by Harriet Lerner, Ph.D.  She talks about our need to decode our fear when fear leads to chronically high anxiety.  She also points out that our vocabulary of fear varies from person to person.  You may not want to admit to fear and call it being “stressed out.”  That caught my attention (being one of those people).  That generally stressed feeling needs to be dealt with.

“Sometimes we feel a stab of fear or a wave of anxiety because our unconscious is warning us that we’re truly off track. . . . Yet if fear was always a legitimate warning signal, we might never show up for a doctor’s appointment, speak up when we feel passionate about something, or leave a dead-end relationship.  There are times when we need to push past our dread and resolve–with our hearts pounding in our chests–to act. . . . There is one final kind of fear we need to decode–the fear we don’t feel at all (at least, not consciously).” — Harriet Lerner, Ph.D.

I don’t know about you, but I am not capable of decoding my fear.  Fortunately, God the Father knows me better than I know myself and I can cry out to Him for help.

For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “ Abba! Father!” Romans 8:15

I love the word for cry out–krazo–which means to cry loudly or to croak like a raven.  It’s written in a tense that means we can and should be crying out to our Heavenly Daddy all the time.  Croak out to God and ask Him to show you whether you’re feeling good fear, bad fear, or untreated anxiety.

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