What are you afraid of?
If you have some idea, but don't really know what to call it--let me help you. Here's a list of phobias that might cover some of what ails you:
Ablutophobia is the fear of taking a bath. I think that a lot of pre-pubescent boys suffer from this fear.
Ergophobia is the fear of the workplace. I think a lot of teenage boys suffer from this fear.
Philophobia is the fear of falling in love. I think a lot of college-age boys suffer from this fear.
Somnophobia is the fear of falling asleep.
Heliophobia is the fear of sunlight, which affects vampires, moody girls who study art, and moles.
Chaetophobia is the fear of one's own hair. I mostly resent mine for leaving me.
Oikophobia is the fear of appliances. As in appliances coming to life and taking you hostage.
Coulrophobia is the fear of clowns. Seriously. Clowns are creepy.
Neophobia is the fear of new things. This fear is most widely felt by fans of Star Wars.
Phobophobia is the fear of developing fears... which is just...
There's actually a serious disorder that millions of Americans suffer from called Avoidant Personality Disorder. APD is a big umbrella that contains the fear of criticism, fear of disapproval or rejection, the fear of failure, intimacy, the fear of taking personal risk, new activities, ideas, etc.
It's safe to say that a very large percentage of us suffer from this disorder to some extent--some more than others.
But this is a learned behavior. There are very few inherited traits that contribute to this kind of disorder. It is learned through childhood rejection, peer pressure, disappointment that is amplified, and a host of other ways. In fact, we are only born with two inherent fears: the fear of falling and the fear of loud noises. Some fears are instilled in us for our good, but mostly they are variations on the theme of those original two fears.
We don't have to live in fear, though. God doesn't want this for us.
In Romans 8:15 we have the following bit of wisdom from the Apostle Paul:
15 The Spirit you received does not make you slaves so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him, we cry, “Abba, Father.”
This is a verse about what it means to be part of a family--a family with a loving parent who cares for us and protects us from all harm.
If you are a follower of Jesus, you have this incredible Spirit of God within you that brings you into the household of God as His child. You don't have to live in fear, you don't have to be a slave to the fears that are haunting you.
You don't have to live that way any longer because, in Abba's house, where you now live, there is no room for fear.
May these words fill you with courage and hope today, and may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen.
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