The Genesis of Fear
“I scared Mommy.”
That’s my baby’s new saying. She learned it from a TV series she was watching. On the show, there was a kid-friendly monster that frightened the other characters. Though I am not sure why they were scared… the “monster” was literally a white fluffy looking cat with purple strips. Maybe it was because it was a huge white fluffy cat with purple strips. But regards of whether I think they should’ve been scared or not, they were scared and announced that they were scared.
So, now my baby likes to announce that she is scared when she is in fact not scared at all. She actually laughs while saying, “I’m scared mommy.” She also associated being scared with darkness. She’ll point into a room with the lights out and say she’s scared… even though she just went into that same dark room to get a toy. Toddlers. Got to love them.
Then my husband asked a question that we both simply raised our eyebrows to. He asked, “Do you think fear is a learned behavior?”
"Umm..." was my only response at the time. I don’t know about him, but I’ve been toying with the answer to that question since he asked it. Is it? Is fear learned? And if it is, who taught it to us?
Whenever I think of fear in regards to biblical teachings I think of three scriptures. I think of 2 Timothy 1:7, 1 John 4:18, and Numbers 13:33. I’ll list them here respectively.
For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.
And there we saw the giants, the sons of Anak, which come of the giants: and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight.
One thing I can indefinitely say is that fear is not something that we inherited from God. So, if we didn’t inherit it from God, where did we get it from? Well, I like to keep things rather simple. If it’s not from God, it must be from either Satan or our flesh. In essence, we either learn fear from others, our flesh, or it is implanted from the devil.
In my daughter’s case, she learned fear from someone else. She saw that someone else was fearful of something; therefore, she falsely adopted their fear. I’m glad that her fear is false and that she is only pretending when she says that she is scared. But that’s not the case for everyone. Some of us truthfully adopt other people’s fears as our own. For example, a concerned parent may impose their fear of failure onto their children.
The parent may advise their child to play it safe and abandon reaching for their dreams. Parents may do this because perhaps they reached for their dreams and were met with unsuccess. Therefore, they stifle their children’s dream out of fear. Or maybe the parent never tried at all and are afraid that their child will end up disappointed if they try and fail. That child would have never known to fear failure if that parent had not imposed their fears on them. Thus, fear can be a learned behavior.
Then of course there is fear that derives from our own flesh. Internal fear is often birth from observing external circumstances. The children of Israel feared taking down Jericho because of what they saw on the outside. They saw giants. They saw mighty warriors. They saw what looked to be an impenetrable wall of defense. So, they feared what they saw.
But what they saw wasn’t supposed to matter. God told them that they had victory, but they chose to believe in their fear instead of God’s faithfulness. I am not suggesting that what they saw wasn’t something to fear. In the flesh, it was absolutely something to fear. But in the spirit, the children of Israel should have been confident of their victory despite their circumstances.
Likewise, there will be external circumstances that will cause us to fear in our daily lives. But if we can rely on God’s strength instead of our fear, maybe our giants won’t scare us away from our promised land.
Last but not least, there is Satan. I know that snake implants fear in us. He whispers in our spirit things like, “You aren’t capable of doing this.” “No way you think you can do that.” “Look at the odds that are stacked against you.” “You really think that’s going to happen for you?” “What makes you think that’s going to be your reality?” “That’ll never happen… you may as well give up now.”
And if I were to be honest sometimes, I don’t know if it’s me being negative or if it’s really Satan talking in my ear. But I do know this. Regardless of whether it’s me or the serpent, if it’s based in fear, it’s not of God; therefore, it must go.
If you know…that you know… that you know, that you are doing what God told you to do, then don’t you let fear tell you otherwise. If God has confirmed and reaffirmed you something, stand on it. Bet on it. Be sure of it because God is not a man that He should lie. If God said yes, it doesn’t matter what fear says. So, why listen to it?
We are human, and fear will rear its ugly head at times. But when it shows up on your front door, shut the door in its face. Kick fear out of your atmosphere, and welcome God and His faithfulness in. I don’t know if you all ever watched the 90’s TV Show Martin, but kick fear out of your house like Martin and tell it to “Get to stepping!”
There’s no room for fear here at my residence, and you shouldn’t let it squeeze into your home either. It doesn’t matter where it came from—whether it came from your flesh, others, or Satan. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a valid fear or not. It doesn’t matter whether it’s learned or innate. It doesn’t belong in you. So, it needs to be tossed out.
Whatever you are fearful of today, I pray that God rids you of it. I pray that God can open your eyes to who you really are in Him. I pray that you can see that we cannot be who God wants us to be while operating in fear. Our fullness in God is only realized when fear is casted out.
So, in the mighty name of Jesus, regardless of its origin, may your fears be casted out. May it be replaced with power, love, and a sound mind. May you conquer whatever is on the other side of your fear and walk courageously forward in God’s purpose for your life. In Jesus name I do pray. Amen.
That’s it you guys. Have a wonderful week. ‘Til next time, be blessed!
Quin Arrington's debut book "And Then You Shall Have Good Success: Attaining Good Success God's Way" is available on Amazon in paperback and eBook format. Link to book listed below.