3 Ways to Thrive in a Culture of Fear

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3 Ways to Thrive in a Culture of Fear

It was Wednesday evening, and my daughter left our house to drive back to a nearby city where she attended college. Not long after she was on the interstate, she was hit by an eighteen-wheeler which made her car spin several times, veer off the interstate and hit a tree. What happened that night changed my daughter’s college trajectory, her life and my life for the next four years. Fear was something that she and I would both live in over those years.

Fear, an unpleasant emotion, engulfs you when you believe that someone or something is dangerous and may cause harm to you or someone you love.

Crises can visit us at any time causing fear for our own or our loved ones’ health, safety, or security. Fear has been experienced by most of us because of the current pandemic.  As a result of the extreme stress, fear, and anxiety that a large percentage of the population have experienced and continue to experience, a culture of fear has been created that we, as Christians, must learn how to navigate in order to sustain ourselves and thrive.

Here are three ways to thrive in a culture of fear.

It was Wednesday evening, and my daughter left our house to drive back to a nearby city where she attended college. Not long after she was on the interstate, she was hit by an eighteen-wheeler which made her car spin several times, veer off the interstate, and hit a tree. What happened that night changed my daughter’s college trajectory, her life and my life for the next four years. Fear was something that she and I would both live in over those years.

Fear, an unpleasant emotion, engulfs you when you believe that someone or something is dangerous and may cause harm to you or someone you love.

Crises can visit us at any time causing fear for our own or our loved ones’ health, safety, or security. Fear has been experienced by most of us because of the current pandemic.  As a result of the extreme stress, fear, and anxiety that a large percentage of the population have experienced and continue to experience, a culture of fear has been created that we, as Christians, must learn how to navigate in order to sustain ourselves and thrive.

Here are three ways to thrive in a culture of fear.

1. Care for your body and mind by getting enough sleep.

Since our bodies are God’s dwelling place, it’s important that we care for them. Healthy adults should have a minimum of 7 hours of sleep each night.

Not getting enough sleep can affect:

– Your mood

– Your anxiety level

– Your energy level

– Your concentration

– Your productivity

– Your exercise and healthy eating routines 

– Your objectivity

– Your judgment

– Your blood sugar

Getting the sleep your body needs can help

– You strengthen your immune system

– You control your blood sugar

– You process emotions

– You relax your sympathetic nervous system

Have you ever been so tired that you had no motivation to do anything? It’s hard to do much beyond the bare minimum required to get through the day. When you are in this place, you are operating in survival mode and are not in a place to thrive. Getting enough sleep helps you tackle the challenges that each new day and each new week may bring.

Practical Application:

For seven days, track how much sleep you are getting each night.

Resource:

Print this sleep log to record how much and how well you sleep. Use the information you gather to make adjustments where needed. If your quality of sleep is affected from waking up throughout the night, search for a somnologist to make improvements.

2. Renew your mind: see/hear/speak God’s Word.

“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is - his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12:2 (NIV)

Read Bible verses out loud that reinforce your identity as God’s child. 

– I am chosen - John 15:16

– I am seen - Psalm 33:13-15

– I am heard - 1 John 5:14-15

– I am valuable - Luke 12:6-7

Speak Biblical truths out loud.

– God has not given me a spirit of fear - 2 Timothy 1:7

– God’s peace guards my heart and my mind - Philippians 4:7

– God will deliver me from fear - Psalm 34:4

Practical application:

Read through Ephesians and make a list of who you are as God’s child.

When you understand what God has lavished on you and the authority you have as God’s beloved child, you can live life with courage and walk in victory. You will have tools to replace negative thoughts of fear, worry, and anxiety with positive truth of who God is and who you are as His child.

Resources:

It helps to have visual reminders of biblical truth in your home, on your desk, and in your car to see, speak out loud, and hear in order to renew your mind.

These 4x6 cards are lovely visuals to remind you of your Identity in Christ and will help you combat Fear and Anxiety.

3. Practice having an attitude of gratitude.

Have you ever had a bad day or gone through a difficult season and your whole perspective and mood were changed by simply stopping to say out loud what you were thankful for—calling out just a few of your many blessings? It changes everything, doesn't it?

Research has proven that gratitude not only reduces stress but it also helps develop resilience. According to the dictionary, gratitude is “feeling or showing thanks” and being “appreciative of benefits received.” Robert A. Emmons, professor of psychology at UC Davis and a leading scientific expert on the science of gratitude, believes that gratitude encourages us to identify and acknowledge that there is some amount of goodness in the world and our lives.

When life’s circumstances seem bleak, I have found that “finding the good” helps me shift my mindset and gives me hope for better days ahead. You can “find the good” and be hopeful when you see the positives in a situation. Having hope is important to your physical and mental well-being. Hope increases happiness, helps you persevere, and improves your quality of life, which is another way to build resilience into your life.

Practical application:

  • Who or what are you grateful for?
  • Where are you seeing the good in a not-so-good situation?
  • Reflect on God’s presence and provision in your day.

Resources:

1. This gratitude worksheet from the Finding Me journal gives space to record three things you are grateful for each day.

2. Journal God’s presence and provision every day with this printable journal page. 

Because of the world you live in, something will always have the potential to create fear in you that can wreak havoc in your body, your mind, and your spirit. As a believer in Christ, you know that God has overcome the things in the world that cause fear and anxiety, and you too can be an overcomer through Christ.

With the above tools and resources in place and utilized, you can grow in resilience and find peace in your daily life—especially in times of fear and uncertainty. God knows the plans he has for you, plans for good and not for evil, plans to give you a future and to give you hope (Jeremiah 29:11).

Photo Credit: © Pexels/Tony James Andersson

Renee Bethel, author of Finding Me: A Woman’s Guide to Learning More About Herself is a Christian identity coach and whole body wellness advocate. She helps Chistian women learn more about who God created them to be using a Needs and Values Discovery process and the Enneagram through the lens of the gospel.


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