How to Conquer Fear with Love

???????????????????There is a verse in the New Testament book of 2 Timothy 1:7 that states, “for God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”
The two primary emotions are love and fear. At any given moment we are either living in fear or in love. All of the negative emotions we experience are manifestations of fear while the positive emotions are manifestations of love. Centuries ago Hiliary of Poiter identified six kinds of fear that I have reduced to five due to overlap. These are shrinking, shame, disgrace, panic, and anxiety. Shrinking fear is fear of some action about to take place; Shame is fear arising out of anticipation of being blamed for something; Disgrace is fear springing from some terrible action I have committed in the past; Consternation is fear originating in my imagination; and anxiety is fear caused by the anticipation of failure.
It is important to keep in mind that fear is not a part of our original response to life. It is a learned response. We were not born to fear, quite the contrary we were born to love. The verse clearly states that the spirit with which we are endowed at birth is a spirit of love not fear. It is the experiences of life that have taught us to fear. The master Jesus himself taught that the greatest the commandment is to love! Love God first, love yourselves and others. Love is the great antidote to fear. John writes, “there is no fear in love, perfect love casts out fear” (1 John 4:8). When we understand this statement, we understand Jesus’ direction to “love your enemies.” It really is the happiest state in which to live. Hate is a form of fear. To hate our enemy is to live in fear that makes unhappy and sad. Addiction is a form of self hate, opening our spirit to the influence of the divine is the most effective form of recovery. When you recognize the presence of fear in your mind simply pray, “God, help me to experience your unconditional love for me right now.” Let your mind contemplate how much love there is coming to you right in that moment. Remind yourself you are not alone, divine love attends you. The love of God surrounds you. It is unconditional and free.

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