Fear Is a Toxic Roommate

by A.C. Williams

Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love.  1 John 4:18 NLT

Have you ever lived with a roommate? It’s an art, and it takes years of practice to get right. There’s push and pull, as with any sort of relationship. You have to learn to compromise on some things.

But what if your roommate is toxic? What if they never give back and only take? What if they only care about their own comfort? Roommates like that don’t clean up after themselves, spread their junk into spaces that don’t belong to them, and never let you have a moment’s peace.

Toxic roommates are the worst, but if you’re in that situation, you usually have opportunities to escape. But what if that roommate isn’t a person? What if your toxic roommate is fear?

We all have to deal with fear on some level. Anxiety and stress are normal parts of life, but something happens to our mindsets when we actually live with fear.

When we allow fear to live in our hearts, it takes over everything. Maybe it starts small, but it doesn’t stay small. Fear expands and spreads into every nook and cranny in your heart and mind and life, so that you can’t do anything without a battle for control. When fear is living in your heart, all you have room for in your life is anxiety.

It’s not a sin to experience fear. Everyone does. But it becomes a problem when you make decisions because of fear. When you do that, you’ll turn away from God’s best because you’re afraid of what you might lose. 

In the Old Testament, the Children of Israel forfeited the extraordinary destiny God had for them because they were afraid (Numbers 13:31 – 14:4). Over and over and over, the Israelites defied God, complained about Him, complained to Him, rebelled against Him—all because they were scared. They clung to fear because it was easier than obeying the God who had saved them.

Sound familiar?

It does to me. Fear is something I’ve struggled against for my entire life, and I have only found one weapon strong enough to defeat it:

Love.

When your life overflows with God’s love, there’s no room for fear (1 John 4:18). When God’s love is in control, fear loses its power.

So when you experience fear, instead of letting it put down roots, remember who God is. Be intentional in recalling what He’s done for you, and be specific in thanking Him for it. The fear may not completely go away, but you’ll be astounded at the peace you experience in spite of it.

Accepting God’s perfect love is a direct link to God’s peace. When God’s peace rules your heart rather than your fear (Colossians 3:15), you’ll find that the noise and chaos of the world fades away. Instead of being bothered and anxious about everything the world finds terrifying, the only concern you’ll have is obeying (Isaiah 8:12-13).

Stop clinging to your fear. No matter how easy it is, no matter how safe it makes you feel, God never intended us to live with fear (2 Timothy 1:7). Cling to Jesus instead. Only by trusting in His love will you have the power to evict fear from your heart.

Fear doesn’t pay rent anyway, and God’s peace is a much better roommate.

This article is brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA)

About the author: A.C. Williams is a coffee-drinking, sushi-eating, story-telling nerd who loves cats, country living, and all things Japanese. She’d rather be barefoot, and if she isn’t, her socks won’t match. An AWSA Golden Scrolls finalist and an editor at Uncommon Universes Press, she believes that God works miracles through stories. Learn more about her coaching services at www.amycwilliams.com and subscribe to her daily devotional emails at www.alwayspeachy.com. Amy is offering a special: the first seven days free, then $5/month. https://acwilliams.substack.com/arisedaily

Join the conversation. Does fear rule your life?

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