If I asked you what your greatest fear was, what would you say?
Would it be spiders, snakes, heights, or maybe even clowns?
But those aren’t our greatest fears. They are just the things we say when fear comes up in the conversation.
They’re phobias, irrational fears, often just things we simply really don’t like… but they’re rarely our greatest fear.
And that’s because our greatest fear is far too personal to talk about in everyday conversation.
You see, greatest fears are what really matter to us.
They often affect us frequently and even daily and would turn any discourse into something quite deep, profound, and usually unsettling.
If I were to suddenly share my greatest fear with you in a conversation, it would involve exposing a lot of who I am to you, which would leave me quite vulnerable.
It would also feel strange as we commonly don’t just share things like that.
And, finally, it might just be too close to the bone for the listener. It could well make them face their own fear by causing them to think about theirs, whether it’s the same or not.
As you might have guessed, I don’t think there’s one greatest fear we all have.
There certainly are struggles we all face but, when it comes to an individual’s greatest fear, it could be something that doesn’t bother the person next to you one little bit.
We all have our own weaknesses, our own issues, and our own fears that can overwhelm us at times if we’re not careful.
Knowing what you’re own greatest fear is can be the first step in conquering it.
So many are happy to stick with spiders or snakes even in their own heads, when there are things much deeper that hold us back through fear.
If you’ve never really stopped at any point and asked yourself the question, ‘what is my greatest fear?’ then, I’d encourage you to do it, today.
For many it’s a fear of failure and it drives many of their decisions, actions, thought processes, and life choices from the small to the grand; all fuelled by a desire to feel successful.
For others it might be a fear of being alone, and this can lead people to make bad choices just so they can be around people or have someone in their life they can call their own.
For some it may be a fear rejection; a fear that stops them from getting close to anyone, or anything, in case the hurts of the past are repeated.
Other huge fears are a fear of people not thinking well of us, a fear of boredom, a fear of meaninglessness, a fear of making the wrong choice or a fear of the unknown.
This is not an exhaustive list as there are many others that may well be the thing that holds you back personally in your life.
It’s that thing that stops you doing what you want to do, that gives you stress or anxiety, that takes up more of your thoughts than you’d like it to, that drives you to act or say things you wish you hadn’t afterwards… that’s what I’m talking about… that’s your greatest fear… and I think you know what I’m talking about when it comes to you, personally!
But it’s not all doom and gloom.
I can say this and I can say it with certainty: whatever your greatest fear, God is greater than that!
Where to start though, you may ask, with something often so deeply ingrained and highly impacting to our lives?
The answer is: start where you are.
God wants us to come to Him just as we are, with all our fears and failings, and tell Him where we’re at.
Share with Him, even if you’ve never shared your fear aloud with anyone else before, just what’s on your heart. Even if you’ve brought it to Him many times before, keep doing it until it’s dealt with.
It’s often not easy, it’s usually not quick, but it’s definitely worth it.
There may well be a number of other things you need to do to deal with your greatest fear, but every step in the right direction gets you closer to where you need to be.
The first step is taking it to God and pouring out your heart to Him.
Who knows what will happen if you share your greatest fear with the one who knows you, who loves you, and who wants the best for you? And who knows what will happen if you do it today?
Well, God knows… and I suspect He’s ready to show you, if you’re brave enough to really be honest about naming and sharing your greatest fear with the one who has the power to help you through it!
No more beating yourself up for acting out of that fear again, no more shame for being held back from doing what you want to do, no more being overwhelmed by doubts, worries or endless loops of thought driven by fear.
It’s all about freedom: freedom to act and speak without fear, freedom to really live and to reach your potential, and freedom to think clearly, to increase in confidence, and to finally stand tall as the person God intended you to be.
I believe your greatest fear can become your greatest victory.
Go for it!