Fear is a Four Letter Word

If you are as old as I am you may associate four letter words with the phrase, ‘wash your mouth out with soap.’  Our parents taught us that ‘four letter words’ were words that were obscene or offensive and we shouldn’t have them in our vocabulary. You can certainly think of many of these words, but would you include fear in that group of ‘four letter words?’  Think about it…what if we banned the word ‘fear’ from our vocabularies.  Now, there are definately things (and people?) that we should have a healthy fear for, but there are also things that we fear that perhaps we shouldn’t because this kind of fear does not produce fruit, especially when Jesus told us, “Fear is useless, what is needed is trust.” To live our days with the ‘what if’ mentality only leads to anxiety and suffering and…more fear.  It is very difficult to let go of fear because sometimes we feel that if we let go of the fear, we are letting go of the control.  But, guess what?  We didn’t have the control to begin with.  So, let’s try putting fear in that four-letter-word category.  Let’s try to get rid of fear (unhealthy, crippling fear) from our vocabularies.  Let’s trust, let’s let go, let’s surrender, let’s allow God to work his miracles.  “Fear is useless, what is needed is trust.”  Trust brought life back to a child, trust will bring life to us.         

18 thoughts on “Fear is a Four Letter Word

  1. Low on trust, high on fear is pretty much my constant state. I am working on it…giving it a lot of thought and prayer these days. You have helped clarify my thoughts a bit more here today, Andie — I appreciate thayt!

  2. Not only did I hear the phrase, I actually had my mouth washed with soap when I was about 5 years old! It tasted horrible, so I learned my lesson.

    I won’t say I am never afraid, but I have grown in trust.

    1. I’m sure that I’ve tasted soap as well, Ruth Ann. There are some days when I should not only wash my mouth out with soap but my thoughts as well.

      1. I can still remember my mom running the yellow, rose-shaped soap across my front teeth. If only, as you suggest, Andie, she had helped me wash my frontal lobe too.

  3. I often remind myself not to think the “what-if’s.” Imagining the worst doesn’t accomplish anything productive, and so I just try to move on, live smart and healthy choices, and take each day, experience as it comes. I’m a walker too, and walking seems to iron out those what-ifs, bringing a new perspective to ways of thinking.

    1. Joanne, I used to think that the ‘worst case scenario’ was a good strategy but no more. I like your ‘take each day as it comes’ words. I think that I should begin to take more walks, thanks.

  4. Andie,

    Fr. Rohr spoke fo trust today in his daily meditation book “Radical Grace”.

    Away with four letter word!….Unless it’s love 🙂

    Peace to you this weekend!

    1. Thanks Daily, I really need to read more of Rohr. Everytime someone quotes him, I really like what he says. I think that I’ll pick up “Radical Grace” it sounds good, and I love the title.

  5. I read again your post this morning, and was struck by the following line.

    “It is very difficult to let go of fear because sometimes we feel that if we let go of the fear, we are letting go of the control.” I never linked ‘fear’ with ‘control’. Yet it is so true. Thanks!

  6. Fear of the Lord and the burning bush story always make me stop in my tracks !! It’s one of those paradoxes again right ?
    Standing on holy ground does make me feel a liitle shaky !

  7. Yes Andie, I do remember that saying… If God were anything like our parents I wonder what he would wash our mouths out with to teach us that trust is better than fear???

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