Keep your small, fearful self close

By Dave Henning / September 19, 2018

“Try to keep your small, fearful self close to you. . . .  Let it teach you wisdom; let it tell you that you can live instead of just surviving.  Gradually, you will become one, and you will find that Jesus is living in your heart and offering you all you need.”- Henri Nouwen, The Inner Voice of Love

In Chapter 10 (“Boundaries with Fear and Anxiety”) of Boundaries for Your Soul, Alison Cook and Kimberly Miller  boldly proclaim that it takes fear to have courage.  For example, Moses expressed fears about leading Israel out of slavery in Egypt.  And God answered them one by one.  Yet, God didn’t’ respond with a platitude or a pep talk.  Rather, He promised to be near Moses.  Therefore, Alison and Kim exhort, when you face your fears, you too can do mighty things in the spiritual realm.

However, in order to do this, the authors advise that you consider the difference between anxiety and fear.  First, Alison and Kim define fear as an exile with a specific, present concern.  Next, if you avoid facing your fears, anxiety steps in as a protector.  In contrast to fear, the authors describe anxiety as chaotic, future-oriented, and creative.   As a result, anxiety thinks up all kinds of things for you to worry about.  Those worries may have no bearing on your present reality.  Thus, your anxiety distracts you to protect you from facing the real things you fear.

In conclusion, avoid starving or shunning your exiled fear.  Instead, strive to understand it.  But in order to befriend your fear, you must first befriend your anxiety.  So, in the next blog. Alison and Kim look at the benefits, dangers, needs, and concerns associated with soul anxiety.

Today’s question: What Bible verses help you keep your small, fearful self close? Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “The Spirit bestows power, love, and self-discipline”

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Dave Henning

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