Actually, much of what we consider bravery and confidence is filled with fear, loads of it. Matter of fact, most systems and attitudes within the world thrive on fear. Let's take the systems first--The business and advertising industry: If you don't buy this product, you'll be in fear of missing out on some special purchase. The political arena: If you vote for this person they can supposedly take away many of your problems, and you won't have to be afraid of experiencing those issues apart from their assistance. The police force: If you allow us to take much of your state tax money, we'll protect you from harm (even tough all we really want to do is ride around in free cars, eat doughnuts and give you lots of tickets). As one can see, this list can become endless.
Now let's look at some of the attitudes. The bully, thug and gangsta: If I push others around or beat them up, I won't have to fear being picked on myself. The boss and workaholic: If I excel above the glass ceiling, I won't have to fear losing my job or never receiving respect. The controller and worry wart: If I fill my mind with anxiety on how I can control every single situation in my life, then I won't have to fear my life ever going awry. The insecure and jealous person: If I always hate on you for being better and more accomplished than me; then I won't have to ever fear you truly accepting that realization of betterment, and can keep you at my level of mediocrity or unfulfillment. The greedy person or thief: If I continue to take everything you have, I won't have to fear you ever catching up to me financially or being without something. The loveless, abused and lonely person: If I give my body away sexually and focus all of my attention on physical beauty, then I won't have to fear someone never loving or wanting me, never telling me I'm beautiful, or refusing to be with me. Again, this list can become endless.
This could also apply to institutions such as the educational structure, marriage and family; and could even be an exposing realization of the church.Yes, that's right I said it, the church.
Even the church can be based in fear. It could be in keeping members to stay, or forcing congregants to tithe. It could be in making sure choirs and praise teams excite, and sermons garner acceptable responses.
Fear is a weapon, ya'll. And we shouldn't live our lives based on it. Hey, let the chips fall where they may. Be honest enough with yourself to admit, "a root for some of your reactions could be you're simply afraid. This is something entirely too new; it's out of your league, or maybe you haven't fully healed from some of the pains and hurts in your childhood." You just got older, with the same hang-ups and insecurities.
One of the first problems we see in Scripture, right after Adam and Eve sinned in Genesis 3, was they were afraid and hid themselves. So fear is a long standing problem for humanity, and many don't know how to function without it. At least in Adam and Eve's case, and after unproductive finger pointing, they fessed up to God that it was fear from their disobedience that was the problem. And after God dealt with them, He didn't remove the fear from the lives. Rather, He covered them up with a sacrifice. Down through thousands of years, He still has us covered; so the only one we need to be fearing is Him.
"The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom;
all who follow his precepts have good understanding.
To him belongs eternal praise." (Psalm 111:10 NIV)
"And fear not them that kill the body, but are
not able to kill the soul; but rather fear Him that is able
to destroy both soul and body in hell." (Matthew 10:28 KJV)