What is the difference between the fear mentality and the faith mentality?
It is important to know that there are three different types of fear. First, there is the Fear of the Lord, which is a deep and profound reverence and respect for God. Second, there is an instinctual fear that tells us to “fight or flight” when we are confronted with dangerous or adverse conditions. And thirdly, there is a spirit of fear.
Sometimes in the event of tragedy, life experience, home environment, or over the course of time, thoughts and feelings become skewed, leading to fearful perceptions and anticipations in life’s circumstances and relationships. This can be rooted deep in the individual’s spirit and could eventually take over one’s thought life, consuming every aspect of who they are if not addressed.
What is the fear mentality?
The fear mentality is a way of thinking that causes you to focus on the consequence of failure or an unwanted result, preventing you from taking action.
The fear mentality can afflict people individually and corporately. It is a direct result of a lack of faith and trust in the Lord.
What is the faith mentality?
The faith mentality is a way of thinking that causes you to focus on the reward of obedience or the favorable outcome of a situation. Consistently being in the presence of God will embolden one’s faith. Faith will embolden the individual to take action because of their trust in God.
People who think this way spend a lot of time in God’s word, in prayer, and in fellowship with other like-minded believers. They know who they are in Jesus. We are promised through God’s word that we do not have a spirit of fear, but one of love, power, and a sound mind.
Fear and faith mentalities in the Bible
In 1 Samuel 17, the story of David and Goliath, we see both mentalities play out. The army of Israel was gripped with fear. They had a corporate fear mentality and did not know how to deal with the giant Goliath. The giant, very formidable in stature, called them names and hurled defiling remarks against them. His very presence made them tremble and run away.
So David comes along, sent by his father to bring his brothers some food. He sees what is going on and asks two questions: 1) “What will be done for the man who kills this Philistine and removes this disgrace from Israel?” and 2) “Who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God?”
These questions were not rooted in fear but were rooted in faith. Out of these two questions, we can be assured to know that David absolutely knows who he is. He knows that being circumcised, he and the rest of Israel have a covenant with God dating back to Abraham. Knowing what the reward is, he petitions King Saul to let him go out and fight.
As he meets Goliath, David makes a bold statement of faith. David said to the Philistine: “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day, the Lord will deliver you into my hands, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head. This very day I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds and the wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel. All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.”
As we all know, David is victorious and cuts off the giant’s head. The faith mentality prevailed while the fear mentality did nothing. The fear mentality prevented the army of Israel from moving forward and defeating Goliath, while the faith mentality turned a shepherd boy into a mighty warrior for God. It inspired the whole army of Israel to chase the Philistines.
Develop the faith mentality while subduing the fear mentality
After spending many long hours tending his father’s flock and singing love songs to God with his harp, God revealed himself to David in a way that built his faith. So it is true even today. In Romans 12:2, we read: “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
We renew our mind by staying constant in studying the Bible and other uplifting Bible-based literature. Prayer is also crucial to developing faith and subduing fear. It is direct communication with the Father. Fasting develops dependency upon God’s strength. Sacrificing things that we take for granted everyday can draw us closer to him. All these disciplines have the power to break the fear mentality as well as to break addictions and other strongholds.
I have found that confronting those things that I fear and bringing them to the spiritual realm will release that fear off of me. Fear has no place in a believer’s life. So, we must pray and ask the Holy Spirit to speak to us in ways that build us up. The Holy Spirit dwelling in us is our covenant with the Lord. So when fear starts to run its mouth in your thoughts, we will boldly proclaim faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. For the battle is the Lord’s, and the battle was won through Jesus at the Cross!
William “Sonny” Massengill coordinates the Men’s Ministry at The House of Worship, 190 Manhattan Avenue in Oak Ridge. The Men’s Ministry meets the first and third Saturdays of each month at 9:30 am. The group’s purpose is to “become the man you were meant to be,” and this is accomplished through Bible study, camaraderie, and special projects. The meeting location varies, so please contact Sonny for more information through the church office at (865) 272-3703.