1 John 4:18 “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.”
What is Fear?
Fear is one of the most basic human emotions. It is programmed into the nervous system and works like an instinct or reflex. From infant, you are equipped with the survival instincts necessary to respond with fear when you sense danger or feel unsafe. Fear helps protect you from harm.
Fear is just an experience, one writer opined. It can be an intense experience that can have many negative and/or positive effects on your life. However, fears are the mind’s way of finding the areas of your life that actually needs immediate attention.
There are primarily three basic types of fear: primal, irrational, and rational. Knowing the differences between these main types of fears will help equip you to handle them.
The word primal, describes something that’s essential or basic. It is a primal urge to protect yourself and your family from harm. The Latin root of primal is primus, which means “first”.
Studies show that there are four types of primal fears. The fear of identity loss, that is, the ego-death and ego extinction or the diminishing ego position. Secondly, the shame of troubling others is the fear that is called loss of autonomy. While, thirdly, fear of losing loved ones or loved ones losing you is called the loss of separation. Lastly for primal fear, is the fear of death itself or extinction.
These make up humanity’s primal fear group. Death is a natural part of life, and it’s normal to think about it from time to time. Thinking about death all the time, however, might feel uncomfortable or scary.
A phobia is an excessive irrational fear of something that’s unlikely to cause harm. The word itself comes from the Greek word Phobos, which means fear or horror. When someone has a phobia, they experience intense fear of a certain object or situation. Hydrophobia, for example, literally means the fear of water.
Genetic and environmental factors can cause the development of phobias. Fear of public speaking is a big phobia. Many adults dread and panic when they have to speak in front of a crowd. People with ongoing medical conditions or health concerns can develop a phobia.
Children who have a close relative with an anxiety disorder are at risk of developing a phobia. Exposure to confined spaces, extreme heights, and animal or insect bites can all be sources of phobias.
Rational fear is something that you are consciously aware of. It originates from the brain and is usually brought about by genetics. It’s the kind of fear that keeps you alert and can be somewhat of a challenge or hindrance. You can be fearful of situations like heights; starting a new project or being afraid of sleeping in the dark.
The term can mean fear of God’s judgment also. However, from a theological perspective “fear of the Lord” encompasses more than simple fearfulness. Some translations of the Bible, such as the New International Version, sometimes replace the word “fear” with “reverence”.
Fear and anxiety are influenced by genes; however, there is no such thing as a simple “fear” gene that is inherited. The genes controlling neurotransmitters and their receptors are all present in several different forms in the general population of the genes and cannot be separated.
Fear Of Death
Thanatophobia is fear of death. Sigmund Freud was the first theorist to coin death anxiety. The hypothesized is that individuals express a fear of death as a response to cope with unresolved childhood conflicts.
Fear of death or death anxiety is present in all human beings, however, it becomes more prominent in mortality leading situations. The fear of death may direct people to seek comfort in the spiritual truth which states that there is an immortal soul that is more important than the body and the material world.
Many studies have indicated that the view of the meaning of your life can alleviate death anxiety. Self-esteem has an important guard against such apprehensions. The influences on death anxiety are varied based on religiosity, gender, psychological state, and age.
Coronavirus Inflicted Fear
The present pandemic has created uncertainty, confusion, and chaos in our lives. It has also put us in an indefinite period of mortality salient, where no one is sure about their wellbeing and safety. Though the virus has proven more dangerous for elderly people than the younger generations, no one is invulnerable.
Such fears can often result in a disregard for the welfare of others. All over the world, for example, essential items have been sold out, with many people stockpiling them. Other cases are of price hikes and poor quality products made available to consumers.
With the global spread of the coronavirus, fears about illness and death weigh heavily on the minds of many. Not fearing death is easier said than done.
There Is Hope
Romans 8: 38-39: “For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
John 11: 25-26: “Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?”
1 Thessalonians 4: 13-14: “But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep.”
Isaiah 25:8: “He will swallow up death forever; and the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces, and the reproach of his people he will take away from all the earth, for the Lord has spoken.”
John 3:36: “Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.”
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