Why Christmas Frees Us From Fear
“It’s powerful,” my co-worker said about the music video for Zach William’s “Fear is a Liar,” and she was right. The four-minute video shows compelling stories of people facing fears of illness, failure or being unwanted.
In some way or another, we can all relate to those fears — and a lot more. I remember my fear of speaking in front of my fellow middle-schoolers, and being afraid to be away from home the first time. I remember the fear I felt hearing “cancer” spoken about a family member.
All of us have known fear. But we don’t have to be ruled by it.
Fear at Christmas?
Anxiety, stress, worry — all of these are simply other words for fear, and despite the happy underpinnings of the holiday, we feel all of them around Christmas.
Fears of not measuring up simmer in the back of our minds as we talk with relatives and friends at Christmas dinner.
Fears about the future (ours or someone else’s or even the world’s) face us when we think about another new year just around the corner.
Whether we’re afraid of the uncertainty of the future, afraid of not measuring up, afraid of world or national events, or afraid for family and friends, Zach is right: fear is a liar.
Tell the Truth
Fear tells us all kinds of lies: You won’t be able to fix this. Everything is changing (or, nothing will ever change). You are left out, missing out, lucked out. You will always feel alone. You will never be truly happy.
To fear is to believe a lie. To uproot the fears we have to uproot the lies, even when they cling to our deepest thoughts and refuse to let go easily. When bombarded with feelings and lies of inadequacy, forgottenness, or just plain exhaustion, we have to remind ourselves of what is true: God can do anything. God loves me. God will do what is best for me.
When lies bombard us, we can fight them with the truth. Here are three ways to help us do that:
- Read Christian biographies, recent and not so recent. It’s easy to think no one else has ever experienced the fears that we know so well, but even spiritual “giants” fought lies like these. Missionaries have second-guessed their callings. Leaders have wondered if their mistakes outweighed their successes. Artists have struggled deeply behind the scenes. Reading these stories will crush the lie that we are the only ones who struggle.
- Share your fears with someone else. The power of fear is crippled as soon as it is shared. Your fear is no longer a secret, and your confidant can remind you of what is true when you have a hard time seeing past the lie. They might even share similar struggles with you.
- Write down your fears – and promises from God. Like the psalmists all those years ago, writing down our fears followed by the promises God has made in answer to them reminds us later what God has done for us, and helps us prepare to trust Him when we face our next fear. You can also write out prayers, asking God to help you face fear with His truth.
Plenty of strong people have had really hard times of doubt, fear and anxiety. If that’s news to you, check out some of the Psalms. But because of Christmas, we don’t have to live in fear. “‘Fear not…For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior…’” (Luke 2:10-11).
God can do anything. He loves us. And He will always do what is best for us.
We will be faced with lies as long as we live, and we will believe some, no matter how hard we try to focus on the truth. At the heart, these lies usually center around one question: Will God come through for us?
Of course He will. He already did — as a baby in a manger.
Copyright 2018 Lauren Dunn. All rights reserved.