BCC Staff Note: You are reading Part Two of a four-part BCC Grace & Truth blog mini-series on counseling and women. Read Part One by Keri Seavey: The Many Hats That Women Wear. You’ll also enjoy posts by Julie Ganschow and Hayley Satrom, and today’s blogger, Jill Wamsley.
For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and self-control. (2 Timothy 1:7 ESV)
At times in movies, sitcom television shows, magazines, etc., women are portrayed as “emotional” human beings. Women are depicted hysterically crying over something trivial, depressed, angrily emasculating her husband, or fearful.
Every so often the media can make emotional women look quite humorous. One of my favorite I Love Lucy episodes is when Lucy and Ethel find a job in the chocolate factory. It is funny to watch Lucy and Ethel’s emotions change from being secure in their new jobs to panic-stricken fear about losing their jobs. I enjoy a good laugh directed at the characters on television or a movie screen, but unfortunately the devastation caused to a woman’s life from her sinful emotions is not so funny. Emotions can be controlling. Emotions were created by God but due to the Fall (Genesis 3) they have the potential to become corrupt.
A prevailing emotion I encounter in the women I counsel is fear. Unfortunately, sinful fear can create a prison within the mind, but the truth is you do not have to be ruled by sinful fear. I just finished teaching a Bible study, Fear Factor, with a group of women and I want to share what I have learned in an effort to assist you in helping women overcome sinful fear with godly fear.
According to 2 Timothy, Paul is exhorting and warning Timothy not to be overcome by the challenges in life and not to forget the “promise of life” he has in Christ. Paul is specifically prohibiting Timothy from exhibiting moral cowardice (sinful fear which was not of God) when he faces trials that are sure to come. Paul is encouraging Timothy not to be fearful of sharing the good news of Jesus Christ even in the midst of great persecution. Paul reminds Timothy that he has been given a spirit of power, love, and self-control.
As women, we can give many excuses for our fears:
- “My husband lost his job.”
- “I can’t help the way I feel. I have always been this way. My mother was a fearful woman.”
- “What is going to happen to me?”
- “I’m going to lose my children if I don’t do something.”
- “I worry what my colleagues think of me.”
God commands His children not to fear (Prov. 29:25; 1 Pt. 3:14; Matt. 10:28; Phil. 4:6; Eph. 6:10). Sinful fear is self-protecting, moves away from the problem, secludes self, hesitates, is highly suspicious, and only trusts in worldly solutions.
In fearful times, we can easily move from a deep concern about our circumstance to a sinful fear. First, we can be tempted to compromise in order to get solutions in a timely manner. Second, we look to others for help instead of our Savior. Third, we can distort God’s Word in order to give us comfort in our time of need. Finally, we can be tempted to go the world’s way instead of following God’s plan.
Apart from God, life can be pretty terrifying. We must learn how to live courageously when life gets fearful. We must fear God.
When life gets scary and hard, we tend to experience spiritual amnesia and forget about God’s promises. For instance, God has promised that He will never leave us or forsake us (Deut. 31:6; John 14:18-26).
Believers have been granted everything pertaining to life and godliness in Christ Jesus (2 Pet. 1:3-4). We must trust and obey in God’s ways.
The solution for addressing fear in a godly manner presented in the book Fear Factor is as follows:
Stop / Remember / Acknowledge / Worship
You must first stop and get your mind in order. Ask yourself, “What am I thinking about today?” Eject your sinful thoughts and do not compromise.
Remember how powerful God is. Remember how glorious God is. Remember how faithful God is. This will give you strength not to give up.
Acknowledge Him as God. Do not just give Him praise with your lips.
Lastly, worship God sincerely, from the bottom of your heart. Daily set God apart in your heart and inwardly gaze upon Him.
The following are some specific questions to examine your thoughts:
- Recall the last 3-5 times you were fearful. Explain the surrounding circumstances.
- What were you thinking at the time(s) you became fearful?
- What were the results of your thinking and actions the time(s) you were fearful?
- How were you not trusting God?
- How were you trusting in the world’s ways of solving fearful situations?
- What sins do you tend to commit during fearful situations?
- How can I think biblically the next time a fearful circumstance occurs?
God is not asking us to be fearless, just to fear the right Person. To fear God, even when life is hard, you must trust God and obey His Word. As believers, we receive many benefits as we fear God. For instance, fearing God helps us make wise choices in life and our soul prospers (Psalm 25:12-14; 31:19-20; 112:3-8).
God-fearing women believe, trust, obey, serve, and love God with all their heart, mind, and soul. In addition, they love and serve others. A god-fearing woman’s hope is in God. She is consumed with God and awe-struck by Him. As we fully devote our hearts to God, devote our lives to prayer, study and meditate on Scripture, God is faithful and worthy of our trust in Him.
Join the Conversation
Are you a fearful or God-fearing woman? What specific steps will you take to become a God-fearing woman today?