“An attitude is a cluster of thoughts with emotional flavor, and every type of emotion has one of only two roots – love or fear. Love and fear are the root emotions, and all other emotions grow from these.
For example, out of love flow joy, peace, happiness, patience, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness, self-control, compassion, calmness, inspiration, excitement, hope, anticipation and satisfaction. Out of fear flow hate, anger, bitterness, rage, irritation, unforgiveness, unkindness, worry, self-pity, envy, jealousy, obsession and cynicism.
The discovery that love and fear cannot coexist in our brains is revolutionary. In fact, scientists have researched the anatomy and physiology of love and fear right down to a molecular, genetic and epigenetic level that can be described in detail.
They have found a deeper system in the brain concerned with positive love emotions and negative fear emotions. They have discovered that these two systems cannot coexist, that at any one conscious moment, we will be operating in one or the other for each cluster of thoughts we think.”
I read this recently and it has changed my life. Fear and love cannot coexist. You can’t have feelings of fear and love at the same time. 1 John 4:18a “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear” is not just a ‘nice verse’…it’s how God actually created us! If we’re experiencing emotions of fear, perfect love = God (“God is love”, 1 John 4: 8b) eliminates those emotions! We have the ability to recognize the root of fear causing the toxic emotions and “destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:5)
Over the past couple of weeks I have put this into practice. When I’ve had emotions of stress or frustration, etc, I’ve stopped to ask myself ‘What is the underlying fear root of what I’m feeling right now?’ I’ve been able to identify the cause, and then counter the toxic thought with what GOD says.
Emotion: Stress over unexpected expenses that pop up
‘What fear is the root of this stress?’: Possibly that you’re trying to get out of debt and every time you think you’re getting ahead, something comes up…the fear is that you’re never going to get out of debt! OR Possibly that your needs won’t be met for food, rent/mortgage payments etc…so the fear is that you won’t have what you need (or even potentially you won’t have money for what you WANT if it’s a matter of unexpected expenses taking away extra ‘play money’!)
What does God say?: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?
“And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” ~Matthew 6:25-34
Faith response/Taking fear thoughts captive: God you are my provider and I’m putting my faith in your Word instead of feeding the fear that I am feeling right now. I believe you love me and that all things work for the good of those who love you. I’m trusting for you to provide as I keep my focus on you and follow where you lead.
It has been amazing to see how every toxic emotion really has stemmed from an underlying fear. Fear of rejection, fear of things not going the way I’d like them to, fear of the unknown, etc. I’ve quickly been able to bring my emotions and thoughts in line with God and those feelings of fear have been replaced by love and peace! And then I’ve already made myself aware of the underlying cause so when the fear starts to creep in again, I’m armed and ready to defeat it!
I pray that each one of you reading this will take this new information that has transformed my life and allow it to transform yours. May you experience His supernatural peace and joy that comes from being wrapped in His love. His perfect love that casts out all fear!
Image Credit: Erin Kass