Analyze Your Lifestyle

The second step in overcoming irrational fears is to analyze your lifestyle and determine where God’s place in your life has been usurped. There are three questions you should ask. First, in what way has fear prevented you from living a responsible life? Some people are irresponsible, because they are poor stewards of the life God entrusted them. Others are afraid to stand firm in their faith, and do the right thing. “Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin” (James 4:17).

Second, how has fear compelled you to live irresponsibly? Are you compromising your integrity, because fear is keeping you from standing up for what is right. Are you afraid for what people will say? The apostle Paul wrote, “For am I now seeking the favor of me, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a bond-servant of Christ” (Gal. 1:10). Don’t play for the grandstand, play for the coach. That alone will change your life.

Third, how fear has compromised your witness for Christ. Why are people afraid to be a positive witness for the Lord Jesus Christ? When I taught evangelism at the seminary I required the students to take the initiative to share their faith in the power of the Holy Spirit and leave the results to God. They were to give me a written report of two such opportunities by the end of the semester. I started to get all kinds of “theological” reasons why they shouldn’t have to do that. That is nonsense and they knew it. The truth is they were afraid, which is irrational. “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation” (Rom. 1:16). “And when they had prayed, the place where they had gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak the word of God with boldness (Acts 4:31). Boldness is the mark of a Spirit-filled Christian.

You need to confess (be honest about) any actions or attitudes that were controlled by any irrational fear. “The wicked flee when no one is pursuing, but the righteous are as bold as a lion” (Proverbs 28:1). We will always live less than a responsible life if we are controlled by anything other than the fear of the Lord.

Dr. Neil

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