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Fear is an unpleasant condition; physical, spiritual or psychological. It is emotional in nature, this is the reason why it has adverse effect on the…

Fear is an unpleasant condition; physical, spiritual or psychological. It is emotional in nature, this is the reason why it has adverse effect on the psychic which may either destroy or ruin the individual. Physical fears are the ones we encountered face to face and the experiences make us to react irrationally. Spiritual fears are the ones we cannot see face to face but the experiences have affected us. Psychological fears are experiences that make one to be imbalance and result to behaviours that are abnormal because of the negative effect. Fear is not meant for a particular set of persons, it is applicable to all human beings.

However, there are some factors that causes fear such as threat of harm, imagination, real happenings, past experiences and as well as negative emotions. Many a time as individuals, when we are faced with threat of death or harm, it results to fear. The human mind is like a garden where a lot of different things grow. Once the mind is disturbed or threatened the result is fear. Fear is seen as false evidence that appear to be real but they are not, in the sense that the evidence is not concrete. The threat of harm which is one of the causes of fear can arise after a particular situation of which the individual would continue to remember or think about. The fear would continue to increase if the individual do not really have someone to share with. The result of the sharing can either revive and give courage or complicate it and causes depression. Imagination is another serious cause of fear; it is like a mirage {not real} mere illusion. When one is imagining things you begin to look at them as if they are happening. It is the state of the mind that is at work once you leave that state you discover that it is not real. Many a time we act based on our imaginations. Fears can also be caused by real life situation. For instance, when an individual is involved in an accident he/she may not forget the scenario so easily due to the fact that it is real not a story. This may lead to fear as the case may be. Just like the case of the disciples in Mathew 8:23 – 27 where a great storm arose in the sea, the boat was being swamped by the waves and Jesus was asleep. Initially they never wanted to disturb him but when they discovered that they could not handle the situation anymore; they decided to call on him for help. Looking at this story we discovered that it was the fear that arose that caused panic that led to waking Jesus up from sleep; to the disciples it was real life situation and it resulted to fear and trembling. But Jesus woke up and calmed their fears and there was peace. He encouraged them to put more trust in God who alone can do all things.

According to John Dewey a philosopher in education he says “experience is the best teacher” it is conscious evidence, which is authentic and true. It is based on fact and reality. It can be present or past. There are times where our past experiences had taught us lessons either good or bad, often time good memories do not always come to mind, painful experiences serve as a lesson and every lesson brings about change. Bad experiences always bring about fear, lack of courage and making of irrational decision, when a person is having a bad experience he/she would be more vigilant and conscious in other to prevent such happenings from taking place again in future. Many of us are formed by our experiences both present and past. Experiences help to build our lives and prevent us from making unnecessary mistakes. Years of experiences serve as yard stick that differentiates an expert from an amateur.

Furthermore, unfortunately, fear can result to many things such as lack of courage, telling of lies, sickness and even death. Lack of courage can be as a result of fear, when one lacks courage it attracts fear, there are some elements that would show that such a person has no courage, these elements are: cowardice and timidity when an individual is a coward, it show that they possess fear, finding it difficult to take risk. It also affects the character of the person because they would be referred to as weakling. Fear makes people to succumb easily in the face of difficulty and finding difficulty in making decision. When a person is timid it opens doors to lack of self-assurance and self-confidence. Timidity is a serious weakness that one can implore the instrument of boldness to conquer. Saint Paul says “for God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7). From the above scriptural passage we would see that God Himself did not want us to be afraid in His service. Fear has nothing to offer us, that was why it is said that he who put his hand on the plough and look backward is not fit for the kingdom of God (   ). Fear is a hindrance to preaching the gospel St. Paul made us to understand that what is within us is bigger than what we are facing and that we should not be afraid (   ). The Holy Spirit gives us the enablement to do the things we would not ordinarily do. The Spirit given to us is that of boldness and self-confidence. It is from self-confidence and boldness that a sound mind is developed.

Fear can result to telling of lies, when you lie; you are trying to cover up the truth. Many lies are born as a result of fear. It is only those who are bold that can raise their head to tell the truth. Truth is born out of trust and confidence. Being afraid of punishment increases the level of telling lies. The negative effect of lies is that it can destroy the progress of the whole community. Sickness can also occur when one perpetually lives in fear. High blood pressure (HBP) is one of the illnesses caused by fear. When you are afraid and hyperactive, you are not normal because you are under pressure. Stroke and many other diseases can creep in when you live in fear. Death would be the end result of a person whose heart is not at rest, all because of fear.

Notwithstanding, fear is not a permanent thing it can be conquered by taking a bold step to get out of it. God our father had promised us that He would take care of us. He says “fear not I will help you (Isaiah 41: 13). From the above statement, it is clear that we are not alone, that God is always walking with us. Walking alone, one may feel discouraged or tired but when God is with us on our journey every burden becomes lighter, every mountain becomes a plain. As Christians we should always believe that God is capable of doing all things because He is Almighty. Since God is capable, we should be able to love Him above all things. Our love for Him is the major remedy that can drive away all fears “for there is no fear in love; but perfect love drives away fear: because fear has torment. He that fear is not made perfect in love” (1 John 4: 18). From the above scriptural passage, we would see that anyone who is still living in fear has not really known God due to the fact that knowing God can help our love for him to be perfect, when our love for God is truly perfect, all fears will disappear.

Sr Margaret Ogbebor SSMA is a Catholic Nun working in the Catholic Diocese of Sokoto. She is the Head Teacher of Martin de Porres Nursery and Primary School Katsina. [email protected] .


Sr Margret Ogbebor SSMA is a Catholic Nun, working in the Catholic Diocese of Sokoto. She is the Head Teacher of St Martin de Porres Nursery and Primary School Katsina. [email protected]

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