I have been thinking a lot about fear lately. It is such an odd thing because it has such a broad range. Fear can be something so silly or something very serious. You can be afraid of clowns or afraid of death. You can have a small fear that lurks in the back of your mind, or a fear so large it is paralyzing.
There are, of course, fears that can help you. Like if you are afraid of your children getting hit by a car, you are going to teach them to look both ways. There are also fears that are realistic and fears that are completely irrational. And then sometimes, I think the enemy tries to make me afraid of things that actually might be good for me.
Take for instance something I am ashamed of (I hope I can be honest here), I sometimes yell at my kids. Loud. Now the enemy wants me to feel ashamed. He wants to whisper to me, “you’re a terrible mom,” and “what would people think if they heard you yell like that?” He wants me to internalize everything and never talk about it to anyone. He wants me to think about it over and over again.
Sometimes when I am faced with an irrational fear that is based in shame like,” what if people really knew what you are like?” I just face it. I find someone and confess. I just say to another mom friend, “I really struggle with yelling at my kids sometimes.” I let it out there. And then, usually, I find my friend say, “Oh, I struggle with the same thing too.” Now the the chatterbox has no more power. ”What if people found out?” Well they just did AND I found out I am not alone in this struggle.
I actually told my mom the other day how awful I felt because I had fussed so much at my kids last Saturday while I was taking them to their activities. I remember saying to her, “I guess I just discounted all the things I did for them today.” She said just the right thing, “No you didn’t. They won’t even remember you fussing at them. They will remember that you always took them to their activities. That’s all.”
Not all fear is so easily overcome. But boy can you nip the fear of shame by simply being honest with someone. You may find out that the thing in your mind that you built up to be such a big deal really isn’t a big deal at all.
James 5:16 Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.