We live in a kingdom of noise as C. S. Lewis put it in The Screwtape Letters. Maybe not audible noise, but noise none the less. Our minds are bombarded with information at every turn.
You would think our psyches would shut it off at some point for its own good, but instead we become addicts and then numb to it all. Constantly feeling the pull to check social media for the latest news or happenings. Listening to talking heads on the television. It’s all noise. And all too often it’s biased noise, propaganda, in the guise of information. Information that’s intention is to cause fear.
If we are not careful to discern and filter the noise we take in, we can too easily become trapped in fear. In C.S. Lewis’s Letters to the Soul Master in 1942 he wrote:
Young man to the devil: “How did you manage to send so many people to hell?”
The devil: “Through fear.”
The young man: – Good for you! And what were they afraid of? Wars? Hunger?
The devil: – No … Illness.The young man: “Did they get sick? Did they die? Was there no cure?”
The devil: “They didn’t get sick. They just died. And there was a cure …”
The young man: – “I do not understand…”
The devil: “They believed that the only thing they had to keep at all costs was Life!”
They stopped hugging, stopped greeting each other.
They left all human contacts … They left everything that was human!
They ran out of money.
They lost their jobs.
They chose to fear for their lives, even if they had nothing to eat.
They believed what they heard, read newspapers, and blindly believed they were reading the truth.
They gave up their freedom.
They never left their home again.
They didn’t go anywhere.
They never visited friends and family again.
The whole world has become a huge prison with *convicted volunteers*.
They voluntarily accepted everything!
All this to experience another miserable day …
They did not live, they died every day!
It was too easy to take away their miserable souls … “
~ CS Lewis, “Letters to the Soulmaster” (1942)
How much of the noise your mind is taking in is being pushed with an agenda of fear. I’ve written previously about fear. Fear is not from God. If perfect love casts out fear and if God is love then fear is not of or from God.
People may couch it as concern or for your good or for the good of others, but fear is never from God.
Please don’t misunderstand me. I know most people truly do believe they are doing the right thing trying to warn you. Yet there is a difference in an agenda intentionally causing fear and a message being shared without bias so you can make the best decision for yourself.
So how do we discern for ourselves if we are reacting to something out of fear?
Scripture tells us in 2 Timothy 1:7 that “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, love and self-control.” Fear is mentioned 365 times in the bible. It’s so important for us to meditate on scripture and speak truth from scripture over ourselves daily.
Secondly, don’t overthink things. Put another way, get out of your head. My friends, you control your thoughts, your thoughts do not control you. Neuroscience has proven this. Unfortunately, people still believe they cannot change their thoughts and mindset. Take every thought captive. Yes, sometimes it is hard because our egos try to keep us bound to our fears, but becoming a watcher of your thoughts and being aware of the path your thoughts are taking you down is how we take every thought captive. It’s a practice, a discipline, but one that will lead to being able to put on the mind of Christ.
Learning more about how God created you and what underlying fears and motivations are also important. Once we understand the why behind our motivations, our awareness of when we are allowing ourselves to be led by fear becomes stronger. The enneagram helps us identify our core motivations and underlying fears. Do you know your enneagram type? To learn more about your enneagram type sign up for my newsletter here.