“Anxiousness & Fear” – excerpt from Pursuing Wisdom: Unmasking Theology

Anxiousness is “characterized by extreme uneasiness of mind or brooding fear about some contingency: worried” (Merriam-Webster). It is not surprising that this is in direct connection to the fears coming from our ultimate need. Is it not obvious that there would naturally be a sense of fear a lone creation, in the absence of his or her Creator, would feel? But just to make sure we are on the same page about this leery nature induced by fear, let us also look at the definition of fear.

Fear is “to be afraid or apprehensive” (Merriam-Webster).This emotion is induced by an imminent danger the creation is subject to in light of being unplugged from the Source. The creation cannot sustain itself eternally. Therefore, whether or not the conscious mind allows itself to be aware of the existence of God doesn’t change the fact that God exists and furthermore everything in us and around us is disconnected from him and cries out with urgency due to impending doom.

We must be careful not to miss the important difference between anxiousness and fear. While fear is clearly the emotion of that natural danger we reviewed earlier, anxiousness is “characterized by extreme uneasiness of mind.” It would be very easy to simply write this off as another description of emotion. However, utilizing our progressive understanding of our reasoning we can clearly see that while fear is the emotion, anxiousness is the result of human reasoning being applied to the emotion.

When we are anxious or worried, it is not simply an emotion. Anxiousness would be the precursor to the rise of the prevention need we learned of in the first chapter. We know that appealing to the human nature in I Must Resolve is obviously not-God. However, fear is the effect of noticing the disconnection and instability we have on our own. It is then that the choice is made about where we go in order to resolve it. Therefore, if part of wisdom is reason applied to revelation, then anxiousness would simply be human reasoning applied to fear. It is in this stasis that modes dominate and conquer the human psyche.

There are only two ways to remove anxiousness. The I Must Resolve way cultivates modes to the point that the reality of our disconnection is denied and replaced with modes suggesting dominance over emotion. The submissive God Will Resolve way removes anxiousness by casting our cares upon the Lord (I Peter 5:7) and, in faith, gaining a “peace that transcends all understanding” (Philippians 4:6-7).

The only reason I am going into this much detail about a subject catered to in the first chapter is because I feel it is important for us to understand, as Christians, that our human nature will cry out against our attempts to push through mere feelings in pursuit of our need of discovery. It is only natural that we will face a rebellion from our human state as we seek with the fullness of our faith to grow closer to God through Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. Our desire for wisdom will create a sense of turmoil within us.

With the revelation of modes and the exposure of insecurity, it is so easy for us to cater to feelings. Furthermore, with the aid of human reasoning (mode) we could easily disassociate ourselves from introspection. But let us not be like Logos was originally whereby we would merely attempt to manipulate the indicators of our deficiencies. Let us run with earnest in the effort of exposing all that hinders us from having a deeper relationship with our Lord. Let us trust with the God Will Resolve mentality, which is only natural to the new creation and those reborn who follow Christ, that the Holy Spirit will reveal to us our purpose and direction.

Oh Lord, Where were you?

Oh Lord, Where were you,
When the villains came out,
When the evil afflicted,
And fear led to doubt?
Oh Lord, Where were you,
When they boarded the planes
When children lost parents
And death fell like rain?
Oh Lord, Where were you?
With a gun held high,
He entered the school,
And took their sweet lives.
Oh Lord, Where were you,
In the years of abduction,
While their families awaited,
Any kind of instruction?
Oh Lord, Where were you?
We ask and don’t know,
It shakes our faith,
Amidst fear and woe.
Oh Lord, Where were you?
We assume, Lord of Hosts,
That you were the foe,
Who neglected your post.
Oh Lord, Where were you?
We ask, blind and lost,
We can barely conceive,
The measure of sin’s cost.
Oh Lord, Where were you,
May be the wrong plea,
In this fear stricken world,
Oh Lord, Where were we?
Oh Lord, Where were you?
Surely there at the towers,
Under desks at the school,
Where the victims would cower.
Oh Lord, Where were you?
Always with us within,
Preparing and determining,
When this madness will end.

The Practicality of Being Genuine

Simplicity can be therapeutic, especially when we are hurt or angry. In our dramatic human natures it can be very tempting to build things up and then blow up. And yet, in the end, we are the ones more hurt than the one who afflicts us and worse, we will likely bring our loved ones down with us. I wonder if sometimes, in our dramatic responses, we detach ourselves from the fundamental vulnerability of what we actually feel. When someone hurts our feeling, we need to be able to simply say, “My feelings are hurt.” When we are angry, we need to simply say, “I am angry.” And most importantly, since this is at the root of it all, when we are scared, we need to be able to say, “Jesus, I am scared.” For, when we attempt to resolve these emotions without this simple acknowledgement, it is so easy to slip into an “I Must Resolve” mentality where we believe that it is up to us to fix it. And this is such a slippery slope. When we are not genuine about what we feel, we are simply working our way towards self-dependency, building up agendas and masks of behavior. This is not the way the Bible outlines Christ-centered dependency. If we are going to, in anyway, live on this earth as tools for the Kingdom of God, then we have to put ourselves out there and be genuine. We have to risk being vulnerable and risk being burned. So let me encourage you with four buzzwords to remember when you face the temptation to spin or to back-peddle:

1)      RELAX! There is nothing wrong with taking a moment to step back or away from a circumstance to “Be still and know that [HE is] God.” (Ps 46:10)

2)      EXAMINE your most basic emotions in the circumstance. Look within and ask yourself, “What am I really feeling?

3)      ACKNOWLEDGE verbally these emotions you are feeling. This doesn’t have to be an announcement to everyone in the room. Make the declaration in prayerful openness to the Lord.

4)      LAY your burden before the Lord with an honest and vulnerable prayer for His peace that transcends all understanding. (Luke 12)

Be Real! Be Genuine! If life is complicated, it may be because we are spending too much time on the issues and not enough time on our hearts. Remember, the Holy Spirit is within us. He is our Counselor. What does that mean? Who is the Holy Spirit to you? What role does the Counselor play in your life? How honest and open are you with the Lord about how you are feeling? Don’t think that His Omnipotence means that your acknowledgement is unnecessary. The Bible so clearly asserts that we confess our sins (1 Jn 1:9) and also that we cast our cares on Jesus (1 Pet 5:7). It is vitally important that we be genuine Christians