Poetic Inspirations and Practical Applications for Blissful Living

Fear-Based or Faith-Based?

Faith-Based or Fear-Based?

Fear-Based or Faith-Based?

Image courtesy www.freedigitalphotos.net

A useful tool for purposeful living is identifying the emotional motivation for your decisions.

It helps to ask: “Is this decision fear-based or faith-based?”

Many of our decisions can be rooted in fear on some level. We can fear not having enough income, or we can fear losing approval from others. We can fear the anger of someone, or we can fear the unknown. We can fear change, and we can fear letting go.

It is generally easier to identify fear-based thinking relative to larger decisions. As we reach a momentous crossroads, we evaluate what hinders us; at such a point we often discover elements of fear. With smaller decisions, however, we often do not reflect long enough upon the decision to recognize the fear. Smaller decisions accumulate over time. Continually making decisions from fear rather than from faith diminishes not only one’s testimony but also one’s quality of life.

 “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear: because fear has torment. He that fears is not made perfect in love.” (1 John 4:18)

If perfect love casts out fear, it follows that we have not fully accepted God’s love when we do fear. When we fear other people or situations, when we fear scarcity or disapproval, when we fear the unknown – when we fear in any situation – we are not acting out of love. We cannot openly receive God’s love in a state of fear, and thereby we cannot overflow with love. Without fully embracing God’s love, we are sensitive and vulnerable to everything around us: people, events and situations. Fear clenches and closes the heart…preventing it from giving and receiving love.

Fully accepting God’s love awakens our trust in Him and in His Promises. Our hearts open to embrace His love. Our open hearts then freely love Him and others in return. It is then, with this widely open heart, that our decisions become firmly based on faith. We seek only God’s approval, and we need not know the outcome of obeying Him. We trust Him that “all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28)

God is love (1 John 4:8); when we align our will with His, our actions and decisions flow freely from a state of love. When our fear is only of God, we discover freedom and truth. “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for ever.” (Psalm 111:10)

Today, as you continue upon your purposeful pathway, notice the decisions you make – both big and small. Is there a hint of improperly-placed fear? Do you fear anyone or anything besides God? Perhaps today you can share your faith more freely? Or perhaps you can learn to say “no” to commitments when your time would be better spent in other activities? Perhaps you can move more boldly in a direction to which you sense God is calling?

In all that you do, today and every day, embrace God’s love with an open heart. Release your fears to Him and walk faithfully with Him…

© COPYRIGHT 2011 Caroline Gavin

  • http://financialexcellence.net/ Matt Wegner @ Financial Excellence

    Great post Caroline! I think fear rules our actions more often than not. Time to cast out that fear and start acting out of love!

    • http://PurposefulPathway.com Caroline Gavin

      Thank you so much for your comment, Matt!

      Yes, so true! Much of our motivation is rooted in fear – even when we do not recognize the fear.

      As you said, let’s cast out the fear and act out of love!

      Abundant blessings always,


  • http://www.threedimensionalvitality.com/ Ann J Musico

    So true, Caroline.  Fear is such a poisonous thing – and since it is the opposite of faith, intentionally being aware of it and particularly as it colors our decisions is very important in walking by faith and not by sight. 

    • http://PurposefulPathway.com Caroline Gavin

      Ann, thank you as always for your beautiful and insightful comment!
      How true! As fear is the opposite of faith,
      we must be ever aware of it – and ever intentional in casting out fear
      by clinging to God’s promises and embracing His love.
      May God bless always your heart for Him!
      Grateful for you, sweet sister and friend!
      Yours in His SON-shine,

    • http://PurposefulPathway.com/ Caroline Gavin

      Thank you so very much, Ann! Always you encourage with your comments. I appreciate you for leading a faith-filled life! God’s richest blessings to you and yours!

  • http://www.VictoryChristianCoaching.com/ Marianne Clements

    I have definitely gotten better over the years at recognizing whether or not my decisions are fear-based or faith-based. God’s perfect love has empowered me to take greater steps of faith. I remind myself that anything that is not of faith is sin and it’s impossible to please God without faith.

    Have a Victorious Day!

    • http://PurposefulPathway.com/ Caroline Gavin

      Sweet Marianne, your heart continually shines with faith! Yes, it impossible to please God without faith, and it is sin to act out of anything less than faith. Many thanks, from my heart to yours, for sharing God’s love and light!

      In the Victory and Joy of Jesus,