I’ve often heard people saying: “Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about. Be kind. Always.”
I have learned that this battle can be won!
I had just started a new job, and part of that job was dealing with some people who had overpowering, strong personalities and who seemed very rude.
I knew it wasn’t God’s will that I should let myself be pushed around, being afraid of people. It helped me to think that God is in complete control of the situation and He does not put me in any situation that I can’t bear. (1 Corinthians 10:13.)
When these feelings of fear and worry started to come up, this verse in 2 Timothy 1:7 was really helpful for me: “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7.
I said to myself, “What I experience now is a feeling; it’s fear. God has not given me a spirit of fear for this situation. This is not something that is meant to make me afraid. God wants me to have a spirit of power and a sound mind in this situation.” I repeated that to myself, and focused on the words in that verse.
When I did that, I started to think more clearly, I got a “sound mind”. Then I could see what God wanted me to do in this situation, and it was not to be afraid. I could bless someone. Maybe I could help someone.
Being afraid has nothing to do with having a sound mind, and it is not what God wants for me. God can give me all power in every situation so that I can be a person that does what needs to be done. These strong people are in my life for a reason - that I can learn something about myself and learn to overcome my fear and worry, and that I can bless and maybe even help them.
Another verse that has been a real help for me is 1 John 4:18 (NCV): “Where God’s love is, there is no fear, because God’s perfect love drives out fear. It is punishment that makes a person fear, so love is not made perfect in the person who fears.” I realised that it was foolish to think that I can’t be around certain people because their personality frightens me. To be bound my whole life by this fear!
“Where God’s love is, there is no fear.” God has a perfect love for everyone. If I can see those strong, dominating people the way God sees them, if I can have that same love for them, then I don’t have to fear them. But more than that, then I also want to make it good for them.
I want to have that same love for them that God does. Now I can go into those same situations, and when I’m tempted to be afraid or overpowered I encourage myself with that verse. “Where God’s love is, there is no fear.” I’m not afraid. God has the same care for this person as He has for me.
Thinking of others
So whoever I’m with, I don’t need to be afraid. I can think, “Maybe this person needs help? What can I do for them?” I then come out of my selfish thoughts and into a love for the others, where I rather think about the battles that they might be fighting, instead of worrying about myself.
Fear often comes because I want the others to think well of me, but like the verse in John 5:44 says: “How can you believe, who receive honor from one another, and do not seek the honour that comes from the only God?”
Since then, I’ve come into situations where I’ve thought, “Why was I scared of this person?” Now I can actually be together with them and say things and be a blessing. Sometimes I’m still tempted to fear, but then I tell myself: “No! Where God’s love is, there is no fear! God, help me do this. Help me be a blessing.” I can overcome my fears and have it good with people, even though our personalities don’t naturally get along. Then the result is that I can get along and have it good with everyone.