Fear or Faith?
Do you sow faith or fear?
In the current world we live in, our information source comes primarily through media - social or non-social. Our perceptions are formed from the news we hear and receive through the radio, tv, papers, web, Facebook, Instagram, blogs or even youtube videos. In fact everywhere we go, we are bombarded with negative news and bad news.
In the past winter months here in Perth, there has been a lot of flu cases and some deaths from it. The repetition of the news, TV programs on real life on such incidences has instilled fear in the hearts of people. There is also a huge push from programs by government to take the flu vaccinations provided at the pharmacies. Every channel I turn to on TV, the news keeps on repeating the same news, over and over again. Everywhere I went, when someone would sneeze, or cough, I would walk in another direction. I was becoming conscious of the news. Of course, I did not want to fall ill with flu. I was also aware that immunisation only tackles a certain strain of flu and not all kinds. (There are 16 different types of HA and 9 different types of NA, therefore, there are potentially 144 different subtypes of influenza A viruses)
Whilst over in Singapore, due to the hot weather season this time of the year, there has been dengue outbreaks in various estates and again news reports heightens people to not just awareness but to an "Amygdala reaction". The Amygdala is the part of your brain which is responsible for a fight or flight reaction to a threat. Amygdala makes a split-second decision and releases a fight-or-flight response before the cortex (thinking part of the brain) has time to overrule it. This amygdala reaction to such news is what results in fear which leads to huge buys of insect repellents and mosquito patches (similar to the reactionary buys from most people during the Haze periods where face masks are sold out islandwide, and frenzy purchases of air purifiers too).The group that is moved into such purchases are undoubtedly the young parents of babies or young children who also tend to have more protective instincts over their young ones.
However, one can overcome an amygdala reaction through exercising your frontal cortex - by pausing to think and practice mindfulness. When one is able to manage the hijacking amygdala responses, one is growing in emotional intelligence as well. It is in fact scientifically proven that emotional intelligence only develops with age, which explains why young persons are likely to make a brash decision or an uninformed choice with a higher amygdala response than someone usually older in age who have more experience and hopefully put more thought into life.
Fear and anxiety responses inhibits one from thinking with sound and right judgement. In fact it traps someone into the replay of that emotion on a repetitive cycle, which explains why some people are unable to get over certain trauma that has happened to them before leading to what is commonly diagnosed as PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder).
The good news is that God can cast out all fear as we place our trust and faith in Him ("Perfect love casts out all fear" and God is Love - 1John 4:8) . Being connected to Him and joined to Him who is Love, can help us recognise that He is much greater and bigger than all our fears and worries. And submitting your life to the One who is in control of all things, realising you are not in control of everything that can possibly happen to you is one of the keys. God truly "has not given us a spirit of fear, but of love, power and a sound mind" (2 Tim 1:6-7)
7 For God did not give us a spirit of timidity (of cowardice, of craven and cringing and fawning fear), but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of calm and well-balanced mind and discipline and self-control.
3 Simple Steps to Overcome Fear or Worry
Here's what the Word of God teaches us and I have summed it up in 3 simple steps for us to consciously practice in our daily lives:
1) SPREAD FAITH NOT FEAR
Let's spread faith not fear. Faith in God empowers, but fear cripples. Faith overcomes , fear traps.
1 John 5:3-5 New King James Version (NKJV)3 For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome. 4 For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world— our faith. 5 Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?
2) SPEAK LIFE NOT DEATH
Let's speak life not death. The power of life and death is in the tongue. (Prov 18:22) We can speak life into a situation where there is so much negativity and fear!
3) STAY YOUR MIND ON GOOD THINGS, NOT NEGATIVE STUFF
This is important to your state of well-being as you direct and stay your focus onto God and all the positive attributes and experiences.
Phil 4:6-9 (AMPC)
6 Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything, but in every circumstance and in everything, by prayer and petition (definite requests), with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants known to God.
7 And God’s peace [shall be yours, that tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and being content with its earthly lot of whatever sort that is, that peace] which transcends all understanding shall [d]garrison and mount guard over your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
8 For the rest, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is worthy of reverence and is honorable and seemly, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely and lovable, whatever is kind and winsome and gracious, if there is any virtue and excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think on and weigh and take account of these things [fix your minds on them].
9 Practice what you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and model your way of living on it, and the God of peace (of untroubled, undisturbed well-being) will be with you.
3 simple words to remember to practice:
SPREAD, SPEAK, STAY!
Let's spread faith not fear. Faith in God empowers, but fear cripples. Faith overcomes , fear traps. "