I will be back soon to start taking about this . . . a very personal issue. I am overwhelmed with work right now, finishing up my masters today, trying to get a medical license in Nepal (got a notice last night that I had to get a huge amount of paper work to Kathmandu by tomorrow). Plus, I'm going out of town next week for ten days and my schedule at work is packed.
The beginning thought is simply fear is a gift. Without fear, our life expectancy would indeed be very short. If you want to see an illustration of too-little fear, watch some of the Darwin Award winners (on video). I really think that Adam and Eve had the gift before the Fall. However, if there were no real dangers, then maybe they didn't. They should have had more fear . . . at least a fear of God.
But, as a back ground, click on the title above and there is a very good, and simple explanation of how God has given us this gift.
I personally suffer from a generalized anxiety disorder with a focus on social anxiety. As I was thinking about how to approach this topic, regarding my personal experiences, I thought for awhile of looking how the Church has misunderstood it. I still may do that. But in reality, I have not had any particular bad experiences regarding my anxiety and interaction with Christians. The main reason might be that it is my personal dirty little secret. I do not feel like I have the freedom to bring it up for several reasons. I admit that those reasons may not be founded in truth. But I have to put on a constant act to disguise my fears.
One reason I feel that I must hide it, is that I as a man am deeply ashamed that I suffer from this. Men are suppose to be strong, fearless and confident. I work very hard to hide my inner fear and most would never know it.
Secondly, as a Christian, I feel even more ashamed. Again, I've never had a horrible experience with Christians, but I don't think they would understand. The reason is the fear has always been considered (at least around my neck of the Christian woods) as the opposite of faith or "trusting God." I think that most would think that anxiety and "worry"are the same thing. But I think they are very different. The kind of anxiety that I experience is very automatic and what you would call subconscious. It is not like I sit around and worry about things. Actually, I think I worry about things far less than most people (like terrorism, swine flu, Y-2-K, accidents and etc.) But, with that said, the physical feelings of anxiety is constant and haunting.
I will stop here and come back. I want to describe my history of anxiety from the inside out.