Have you ever wanted to share your faith with someone, but that little voice inside of you stopped you in your tracks? The problem is when we give fearful thoughts power in our mind they start to influence our behaviour, and can even stop us from being able to say yes to what the Holy Spirit wants us to do.
Overcoming fear leads to greater freedom but also greater obedience to the will of the Holy Spirit. As Christians we are called to be strong and courageous; to step out in faith and trust in God. But how do we do this when that voice of fear can feel so loud?
Have you heard of the principle, you reap what you sow? Whatever thoughts you pay the most attention to will grow. Literally! Your brain is constantly changing and evolving. Your thought patterns create physical neural pathways, and the pathways that get stronger and more automatic are the ones that get used the most. Whereas the pathways that are ignored or not used will eventually fade away.
Which thoughts are you watering? Thoughts of hope, grace, love, and courage? Or thoughts of fear, insecurity, and negativity? When it comes to talking about Jesus, are you giving power to the thoughts of fear, or the thoughts of who you are in Christ?
You have power over your mindset – you can choose to strengthen the right thoughts by filling your mind with the things of God. Paul the Apostle talks about this:
“Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realised. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies.”Philippians 4:8-9
Here’s some helpful tips on how to overcome fears and strengthen pathways of life:
Step 1: Notice and name the thought
By noticing and naming the thought, you are able to recognise it as a lie and speak truth to it. Doing this will help you separate yourself from the fear and break its power over you.
Step 2: Let the thought go
Don’t give the thought power by paying attention to it; simply let it go and bring your attention back to the present moment. Sometimes there’s value in getting someone else in for this step.
Step 3: Do something brave and courageous, no matter how small
Every action you take that goes against the instinct of fear is a step on the neural pathway that leads to Christ.
The next time you feel prompted to share your faith, don’t let fear hold you back. You are in charge of your thoughts! Take a deep breath and step out of your comfort zone – you never know what impact your courage could have on someone.