UnLearning: Fear

We began our week together with a discussion of why “UnLearning” is so important.

Now moving forward we’ll focus on the first of three areas that I have come to realize we must address with our “UnLearning”. Let’s talk about why the sooner you can release and overcome fear, the better we all are. That’s our topic on this edition of “Becoming Today”.

Yesterday we came to accept this understanding of what “UnLearning” is:

“UnLearning is the process of releasing prior restrictions. Letting go of false, misleading or incorrect information we acquired over time. It is the deliberate process of relearning the principles involved in a specific scenario, skill or talent. 

It requires a willingness to truly learn, grow and become. It is a developed skill, that like all of life must be adaptive, flexible and open to revision at any moment. UnLearning can give us alternate attitudes, better vision, deeper insights, more concise and developed understandings. 

The process puts us on the path to knowledge and wisdom that when received, is intended to be shared, freely and for the betterment of not only the individual, but also the whole.” 

-Rochelle Jeanette

So now that we have our operating standards as to what “UnLearning” involves, I have come to know that there are at least three distinct areas of life, where this skill is extremely necessary.

This week we’ll take a day to discuss each of those areas, beginning with fear.

Fear should be completely unnatural, yet for many of us in our early years we are not only taught to be fearful, live in fear, we are misled to accept that fear is a clear and present danger everywhere we look. 

We are not intended to live in a state of being afraid.

As the Scriptures reveal, in 2 Timothy 1:7, “For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline”.

Our Creator did not create us to be fearful, yet some of my earliest memories from people who were much larger, much more possible included the threat that they would “ put the fear of god” in me.

Now of course I understand that they completely misunderstood the intended usage of the word fear in their mantra, however when your first memories are formed as a three or four year old, you quickly learn that god is to be afraid and that if you don’t do what he or others want then you will be punished. 

For me those corrections were not gentle and far too often they were physical acts of violence. 

So yes I did learn to be afraid of this “god” they invoked. He was to me at the time all seeing, watching me constantly, just waiting for me to do something to give an excuse for me to be struck down. Often that “I’ll put the fear of god in you” was followed by “I’ll knock you through the wall”. 

I did not know it at the time, but I would have a lot of “UnLearning” to do and it took a long time. That’s why I say the sooner the better when you can come to accept that fear is an unnecessary thing. 

To begin this specific process of “UnLearning”, we should accept power over our fears. 

Do not let fear rule. Fears of what others think of you, fear of making a decision, fear of not being popular, is all demoralizing. It adds nothing to your experience. Realize that “they” will criticize, judge you, or ridicule you no matter what, so who cares?

Oft quoted is Psalm 118:6, “The LORD is for me, so I will have no fear. What can mere people do to me?”.

I have personally found, learned that it really is true. He has shown me time and time again in my life that fear is unnecessary. I’m not saying that it is easy to overcome. But things worth having are generally worth the effort it takes to achieve or acquire them. 

The idea of fearing not is expressed a multitude of times in the Bible. Many times as direct commands in the Old Testament by God and direct statements attributed to Jesus in the New Testament Gospels. 

In Isaiah 41:10, it is written: “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand”.

Deuteronomy 3:22 offers these words, “Do not be afraid of them; the Lord your God himself will fight for you”.

Flipping to Luke 12:32, it’s reported that Jesus said, “Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom.”

And in John 14:27, He says, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.”

The Scriptures are also full of testimony of individuals who also had to go through the “UnLearning” of fear.

These statements of truth include, Psalm 46:1-3, God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling.”

Also from Psalm 55:22, Cast your burden upon the LORD and He will sustain you; He will never allow the righteous to be shaken.”

And the words of David in Psalm 23:4, “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” 

These songs of praise instruct that everyday people like you and I were able to overcome this false notion of fear and become who they were truly intended to be.

How?

Well first they had to take action.

That action? 

To make a choice.

They had to choose to commit to making a decision.

Decisions are something that apparently more than a few people have trouble with. As I often have shared, I belong to the schools of thought that teach,….

What happens when you make a decision?

Either it works. Or it doesn’t

Every decision we make. Every action we take are all investments in our “Becoming”. Conversely every action delayed or decision not made have their consequences and those costs can and will compound greatly.

So in order to be actively involved in “UnLearning: Fear”, what must we do?

Choose To Reject Fear

How do we do that? By choosing faith over fear. Faith is the assurance of things we hope for, but have not yet received. Faith is also the confidence, belief and trust in things that are not seen. Faith must be present before a prayer can be answered.

Faith is hard work, but its rewards are truly remarkable. 

In putting my Faith into action and actively without reservation demonstrating my confidence in God I learned that fear is a liar. It’s not conceived by God, and it is fear that is constantly telling us false things to hold us back. 

In the Scriptures we are instructed numerous times to not fear anything.

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10

Where there is risk, there is always the potential for reward. We must choose to act in those moments and not react to circumstances that develop from our lack of action or the outright refusal to act, decide or choose.

And when making those decisions we need to remember that honesty is the best policy.

Don’t make excuses. When you are honest with yourself you will find it easier to accept and embrace what is before you and create a  foundation to be built upon.

Some wisdom here to motivate you towards accepting the responsibility to make and commit to you decision can be found in James 1:4,  “And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing”.

Make the decision to begin or continue the process of ”UnLearning: Fear”. 

It does take a lifetime. Not living in fear does not mean you will never feel afraid, but remember you can consciously decide to refuse or rebuke it. Just say no to fear. Fear not, be not afraid and allow those emotions to be replaced with ones of joy, victory and becoming.

We’ll continue our focus this week on “UnLearning” on Thursday. That’s because tomorrow, we’ll seek to continue our ongoing endeavor to carry out a shared search and rescue mission for wisdom.

Yes, that too can involve some “UnLearning”, so make sure you push fear aside and decide to join us for our next edition of “Becoming Today”.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: