Two Sides of the Same Word: Fearful
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Isn’t it ironic that the meaning of the word “fearful” has 2 opposite meanings, one that honors the Lord and one that doesn’t? One definition is “feeling fear, dread, apprehension of solicitude” and another definition is “full of awe or reverence”. There are other meanings, but this is my article and I’m focusing on these two exclusively (smile).
It has taken me almost 5 decades to recognize and accept that being fearful is actually a personal choice. Just because a feeling of fear (dread, apprehension) comes does not mean that I have to sit there and submit to it. The Bible says repeatedly to not be afraid and I’ve managed to interpret that incorrectly for years. I thought that it meant to not feel the fear, which I never did figure out how to do. All I ever managed to do was deny the fear which meant I wasn’t being honest. Now I get it, I’m to take a stand against fear, to resist it. I’m not to passively accept it and “let it have its way with me”.
So, how do I resist being fearful? Flip that word “fearful” over to another definition. And the answer is to fill myself with awe and reverence of God. By reading and studying the Bible, praying, spending time with believers, or helping someone who is hurting; these are things that bring me closer to God. These things I can do to actively resist fear.
By following God in an active way, not a passive way, I’m naturally resisting fear while building up reverence for God. Two sides of the same word. Father God, I just love Your sense of irony and adventure! Lead on!
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