Does Fear Nullify Your Identity?On July 29, 2020 by Amy BurginReading Time: 3 minutes
Have you ever felt ashamed for being scared? As if it were a sin? I have.
Shortly before the pandemic struck, I struggled with fear over some disconcerting blood work with my daughter and worked hard to combat it by bringing my fears over and over to God and preaching to myself until peace came. (She had several follow up tests and everything came back okay).
I confessed my struggle with fear to others.
Confessed, as if it was a shameful sin to have to battle fear.
You see, the entire time Fear commanded me, “Be scared out of your wits!” another voice tortured and accused me, “If you were a real Christian, you wouldn’t be afraid. If you were a true Christian, you would have more confidence in your God than that.”
I wondered alongside this accusing voice.
Maybe I don’t really know Christ.
Maybe I’m not really a Christian because I am afraid, because I am terrified.
Thoughts Spoken to the Mind of the Sinless
I wondered alongside this accusing voice until my Pastor reminded me of Jesus in the wilderness. There he fasted 40 days and 40 nights and he was hungry. The tempter came to him and said, “If you really are the Son of God, turn these stones to bread.” (Mat 4:3)
In the past, when I pondered this passage, my mind filled with the notions I’ve seen in pictures. Satan comes in villainous physical form, slides up close to Jesus and hisses in a vicious voice.
Now I imagine it differently. Perhaps the enemy, totally invisible to man’s eyes, tempted Christ in the form of thoughts alone and maybe those thoughts didn’t hiss at all.
If you really were the Son of God, you wouldn’t be hungry.
Surely the creator and sustainer of everyone and everything wouldn’t be empty and famished in a wilderness.
Maybe you’re not really the Son of God if you’re in this starving situation.
Show your identification – turn these stones to bread!
Strange commands aimed to compel Christ.
Accusations attacking the very identity of Christ’s Christianity ran through his mind yet he did not sin.
These thoughts are like unwanted visitors. Imagine an unexpected knock on my door. I answer to find three hooded thugs. The first one, tall and lanky, standing in the middle of the other two, cries out,
“Be scared out of your wits!”
Stunned, I blink and my heart starts to panic. Suppose the one to his left, short and stocky, cries out next,
“Look! She panics! She’s not the daughter of Lynn Blackstock!”
The one on the right chimes in,
“Look! She’s scared! She’s not the daughter of Annette Blackstock!”
How strange I would consider all of this!
I might freak out and slam the door in their face. If they come back one hundred more times, I will slam the door again, quit answering the door, and finally get some legal help to prevent their trespass onto my porch. I might have trouble sleeping at night, but would my fear nullify my identity? Of course not. I know whose daughter I am.
Fear Does Not Nullify Your Identity
I confessed my fear to many and Laurie’s response stands out the most.
She, like all my friends, did not respond to me as if I were a confessor in need of forgiveness.
Nor did she question my faith.
Rather, she texted back with words which proclaimed both God’s identity and ours, children of the One True King,
“JESUS, MIGHTY WARRIOR, FAITHFUL & TRUE KING, your daughters are fearful. Terrifying prospects run through our heads. BUT YOU… ” She proceeded to remember and recount many of the mighty things God has done for His children.
Life on earth can be scary at times. We live in a world diseased with much more than just Covid19. When strange voices command us to act in strange ways and at the same time accuse us of false identities, let us find joy in confidently showing our I.D. cards signed by the very finger of the Lord of lords, “Chosen, Child of God, Royal Priesthood, Totally Free and One in Whom Christ Dwells.”
If God Almighty has adopted you, what fear, what sin, what person, what thing could nullify it?
Featured Photo by Helena Cook on Unsplash
Thank you, Amy. Thank you for putting written words to my thoughts. I, too struggle with not feeling good enough because of my fear. Our experiences in this world can certainly create fear and I will continue to take those fears to Jesus. You’re so right that our fears do not nullify our identity as the daughters of the one true King.
Amen. It seems the enemy attacks in many ways – and it seems like his number one, underlying goal is to get me to forget who God is and who I am in Christ. Love you sister. Thank you for letting me know I’m not the only one who’s had thoughts like this.