In Chapter 5 (“The Courage to Stand: Conquering Fear Through a Change of Focus”) of Emotions, Charles Stanley presents four common, originating sources of anxiety. The first two are discussed today.
1. Attitudes we’re taught as children. Dr. Stanley believes that we are trained early in life- often unintentionally, at times deliberately- to fear the things our parents and other family members do. Principles learned early in life from authority figures we love and admire will always be part of us in some way. It takes a great deal of intentional effort to counteract what has been modeled for us with God’s truth and perspective.
2. Our imaginations. While our creative minds are an amazing and powerful gift from God, Dr. Stanley notes that our imagination also can become a prison when employed in a negative manner. We can be dominated by what the author refers to as shadow fears– fretting about problems that aren’t real and don’t ever occur.
We worry that the worst will happen when we’re faced with a problem. Rather than stepping out in faith, we imagine everything that could go wrong in a particular situation. In addition, there are certain issues over which we constantly fret.
Today’s question: What attitudes learned as a child have significantly impacted your response to your ministry downsizing or vocation loss? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “Shadow fears- Part 2”