Last month I was privileged and honored to attend a friendís fourteen-year cake at an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting. For those who may not know what this means, it recognizes and celebrates fourteen years of sobriety. As my friend shared about their life, one of the major factors was the desire to be liked and the fear that people didnít or wouldnít like them. They had turned to alcohol and other harmful behaviors to cope with the fear of being rejected or disliked. This person was able to find hope and freedom through the AA groups that they attended and by recognizing that they needed a Higher Power, acknowledging that Jesus was their Higher Power.
Fear can bring us to that place of powerlessness where we are stuck in a cycle of poor choices or where we just canít seem to move at all. Often we feel powerless to do anything about our fears. We canít do anything about them and we need help to find a way to overcome our fears. Jesus informs us that, ďI have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.Ē (John 10:10) A full life would be one that is lived without fear but with faith. This faith must be placed in One who is greater than I am. If I only have myself to depend on then I wonít be able to overcome my fears and the behaviors that come out of them. I will still be stuck in a cycle of fear.
The apostle Paul was a man just like all of us. Even he had fears. He wrote in 1 Corinthians 10:13, ďNo temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.Ē Often we think that we are the only one who is struggling, however that is just not true. There are many who struggle with the same fears that we have. Putting your faith in a God who is faithful is a positive first step toward success in overcoming our fears. A second step is to find a group of people who recognize that they need a Higher Power and who are walking the same journey together, supporting each other.