Why you should get rid of this four-letter word


Get rid of the 4 letter F word

We all use it.  Often we dress it up and disguise it, but we think about it often and even say it out loud. It’s ugly and we need to get rid of it, seriously.



Will Smith declared it his biggest box office flop, yet in the movie he speaks a wonderful nugget of truth:

Fear is not real.  The only place that fear can exist is in our thoughts of the future. It is a product of our imagination, causing us to fear things that do not at present and may not ever exist. That is near insanity.  Do not misunderstand me. Danger is very real but fear is a choice.”


The four-letter word we need to get rid of is F-E-A-R. I know, no one wants to admit they are afraid, instead we say we are worried, anxious or concerned, but not afraid, no of course not.

Isaiah 41:13, “For I the Lord thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear  not; I will help thee.” KJV


The Bible admonishes, “Do not fear” more than any other command. Does that surprise you?  It shouldn’t.

Ultimately, fear is a lack of trust, a lack of faith. Quite simply, fear is doubt and unbelief. A life-threatening storm was raging when Jesus spoke these words to his disciples:

Matthew 8:26, “But He said to them, ‘Why are you fearful, you of little faith?'” HCSB


F-A-I-L  This four-letter word terrifies me more than the fear-sniffing, human-devouring creatures in the movie After Earth. Fear of failure is paralyzing. What scares you to death? Here is my list:


Situations that challenge or stretch my abilities are frightening. Fear of failure might keep me from even trying, but my dad always said,

‘Tis better to have tried and failed than never to have tried at all.”

So I usually try. In fact, I am willing to try however hard it takes to keep from failing because I struggle with perfectionism. After all, won’t my efforts guarantee I won’t fail? If only my own standards were achievable. What areas are you afraid of failure?

  • work
  • school
  • marriage
  • parenting
  • fitness or dieting
  • Words with Friends

To ensure you do what you are supposed to do I feel I need to control you. I can only trust myself, not you. I want to help you but I am afraid you may let me down. Maybe this sounds a little nuts to you, but ask your children, they can probably relate. How about your spouses or your co-workers or friends? Control freaks have lots of innocent victims.


If I am willing to be totally honest, this is the root of all of my doubt. What if He doesn’t come through or what if He doesn’t come through the way I planned? My worst fears may come true.


Starve your fears so they shrink. The more you feed them the bigger they grow. Feed them a lot and they get fat. Big, fat fears. “That is near insanity.”

Proverbs 1:7, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; Fools despise wisdom and instruction.” NAS


Fearing God means having a deeply committed respect, love, and reverence for God’s authority and power. It means being afraid of what life would be like without Him and being grateful that because of His love we’ll never have to experience such despair. It means hungering for all that God is and all that He has for us.” -Stormie Omartian

Enough said.

1 John 4:18, “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” NIV


F-A-I-T-H overcomes fear.

Like fear, faith gets bigger if exercised and smaller if we neglected.

Unlike fear, faith distinguishes us from the world #nofear #trust #faith Click To Tweet

We need not fear.

2 Timothy 1:7, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” NKJV

“Don’t misunderstand me. Danger is very real, but fear is a choice.”

I try not to be insensitive or glib when speaking of such matters. In fact, I am afraid I will offend you. Thanks for indulging me the pep talk because pep talk is what I do. If you would like to read my practical tips on dealing with anxiety, email me at Vickie@vickiepetzhenderson.com and I’ll send you my prescriptions. Thanks for following and sharing, but honestly, it scares me to death.



It's more fun when you join the conversation

  1. Thanks Vickie,

    I love it when others are honest about their thoughts and fears. It makes my anxieties feel more normal. Right now, I can think of a number of blog posts that I still have in the que, because I’m waiting to push through that fear, before sharing my thoughts with the world. Thanks for modeling what you teach. And yes, those posts will eventually get published. It’s writers like you who keep me growing and pushing forward 🙂