Be the Master of Fear
Bringing a spiritual perspective to daily life
It's natural for people to want to rid themselves of fear. Fears of illness, accident, job loss, and death are often high on people's "dread lists."
But any fear dissolves when confronted with God's law of harmony. This highest of laws is powerful, springing from that which is all good, entirely harmonious, completely pervasive. God didn't create or authorize fear; it is not of Him and has no foundation in fact. Fear is contrary to God's nature, and it isn't real or intelligent.
To find the power of God's law of harmony, we need to understand it. When I'm tempted to be fearful, I often think along these lines: "I am under the control of God's law, which is entirely good. Because God is completely devoid of fear, and He created me in His likeness, there is no basis for fear in my experience. I reflect every quality of God, including confidence, control, assurance, and steadfastness. As I strive to express spiritual qualities such as these, I'm expressing my unity with God. Understanding this unity is my protection."
Our understanding of God truly eliminates fear. God is the source of power, not we ourselves. How can we be fearful, knowing we are in His hands? The spiritualization of thought, in which we learn of God, is vital to healing. Fear tends to immobilize; but realizing through prayer the truth concerning God and how he created us frees us to accept healing thoughts that come from Him. These thoughts open the way for answers to human problems to appear.
Once when I was climbing a lookout tower, I saw the distant ground and froze in fear. I couldn't continue climbing or enjoy the view. I thought long and hard about why I was afraid. There was little danger of falling, since the tower was sturdy. My conclusion was that I had not been fully aware of God's great love for me as His child. I was feeling a sense of separation from God, having neglected to keep my thought clear about the law of my relation to Him.
I avoided heights for some time after that. But I didn't avoid praying. I recalled that Christ Jesus was well aware of his inseparability from God. He said, "I and my Father are one" (John 10:30). He showed that each child of God is perfect, and with this understanding he healed those who were sick, infirm, and distraught, and even revived people who had died. Fear couldn't stop Jesus from carrying out his mission that he bless others. Jesus didn't avoid danger or controversy, but triumphed over adversity and even surmounted the fear of death in his own crucifixion, paving the way for his resurrection and ascension.
I find it helpful to consider this statement when feeling fearful: "Fear never stopped being and its action." It was written by Mary Baker Eddy and appears in her major work, Science and Health With Key to the Scriptures (p. 151). Christian Science, discovered by Mrs. Eddy, assures us that fear is powerless to prevent good; that good is the nature of God and is going on despite our fears because God is All.
More recently, I rode in a hot-air balloon. Between the time the reservation for the ride was made and the time of the liftoff, I thought about my inseparability from God and the consequent powerlessness of fear to spoil the experience. As I prayed, spiritualized my thought, I realized more of the fact that I was not created mortal, subject to fear, but rather spiritual, an idea of God, subject only to His harmony and goodness.
The balloon ride was exhilarating. I wasn't afraid. Instead, I was conscious of the beauties associated with Soul-a synonym for God explained in Science and Health. God's children reflect joyousness and peace as Soul's expression. There is no fear in Soul. There can be no fear in the experience of anyone who sees himself or herself as included in God's creation. "It is ignorance and false belief, based on a material sense of things, which hide spiritual beauty and goodness. Understanding this, Paul said: 'Neither death, nor life, . . . nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God' " (Science and Health, p. 304).
Fear and love cannot coexist, because they are opposites. Fear is based on mortality, while real love, God's love, is firmly rooted in divine Life. As we live God's love, we free ourselves from fear.