Every day of your lives, the two of you are presented with an unbelievable numberof opportunities where you can either anticipate the best or the worst of that event/experience/moment/activity etc. For example,
- Your boss is going to be happy with you or rake you over the coals
- You’re going to ace an exam or fail it
- A guy is going to like you or be indifferent to you
- Your support will all come in for your missions trip or not
- You’re going to be a success in your career or not
- You’re going to be able to comprehend the material or not
- You’re going to have enough money to pay your bills or not, etc.
This will be true for you every day for the rest of your lives. So the question is, “How do you avoid living a life based on fear?” And the answer is found in first understanding what causes fear. Fear is not reality. If something bad actually happened to you, you wouldn’t be afraid of it, you’d be dealing with it.
Fear is always based on a negative expectation about a future event.And how do we create those negative expectations? Answer: By using our imaginations incorrectly. When we’re afraid, what we do is paint a picture in our minds of a future event and color it with negative outcomes (an angry boss, a difficult exam, a guy who’s not interested, not enough money coming in, etc.). And then we ascribe a value to that image (failure, rejection, loser, etc.), which only makes the negative emotion even worse–and the cycle continues.
But the question is, “What started that cycle?” Exactly! The wrong use of our imaginations.Now, the reason I say wrong use of our imaginations is because we were created with our imaginations for a purpose. And what was that purpose? The purpose was/is that God wants us to live by faith. And what is faith? Faith is a positive expectation of a future event (the exact opposite of fear).
Again, if something good has already occurred, we don’t need faith(we already have it or it’s positive effect). Faith is always about a future event. “Faith is being sure of what we hope for, certain of what we do not see.”
In other words, you were created by God to use your imagination to anticipate the best outcomes in life, not the worst. When you give in to the worst, you allow the enemy to win. And since you don’t want that to be true, you always want to harness your imagination for the best, not the worst. In that way, you, God, your family, your friends, your company/organization, your community and everyone else wins.
But it all comes down to that choice that only you can make, “Am I going to expect that worst of this moment/event/experience/activity etc., or am I going to expect the best?” It’s all in your head. It really is.
However, the one thing you don’t have the luxury of doing is abdicating the responsibilityfor this. No one or nothing else can make you afraid. This one is all up to you. It’s your choice. So choose wisely. Make sure you choose to use your imagination for it’s intended purpose—not for fear! If you do that, every day, you’ll live a truly remarkable life!
P.S. We’ll discuss this later, but in most cases, you can eliminate a fearby simply doing the thing you’re afraid of (assuming it’s a wise thing to do). Stop worrying about calling someone and pick up the phone. Stop worrying about the exam and start studying. Stop worrying about what your boss will say and instead turn in a stellar report. Worry (a low level fear) does you no good. So eliminate it by taking action and fear/worry will flee virtually instantly.