September 15, 2014
An interview with pastor Bill Hybels on the secrets for living life with more energy, focus, and peace. Bill is the author of Simplify: Ten Practices to Unclutter Your Soul.

BILL HYBELS:  One might think if you get the external clutter all fixed in your life, or most of it fixed, then you can live this simplified life and it’s all good. Actually, what clutters up your internal world can really mess with your life, gang. I bear witness, myself.

One peace buster is fear. Fear can break a cycle of peace very rapidly in your life…. Sometimes you have to work a little bit to understand fear’s origin. Where did it come from, this fear, that’s making peace so difficult to maintain? We have to try to get to the origin, the roots of our fears, so we can deal with them.

I’m sure you’ve all had fear lie to you at some point in your life. Just this little idea that gets planted. You have a sore ankle and you say, “Oh, what if it’s cancer? What if some horrible thing is going to happen, and I’m going to have to get treatment? What if it’s even worse than that.”

And we start doing what I call catastrophizing – thinking of something that can go wrong, and instead of holding it in balance, you just hear this voice in your head go: danger, danger, danger.  Something terrible is around the corner. Something ominous is in the air. It’s all going to come crashing down. Danger, danger, danger. That little propensity towards catastrophizing can just play with your mind, all day every day. And it can wreck any sense of peace that you hope to build in your life.

I love the passage from the apostle Paul, 2 Timothy 1:7. It says, I’ve not appointed you to live life with a spirit of timidity. I don’t want you afraid of your shadow all life long. He said, I’ve given you a spirit of confidence, a sound mind, a disciplined thinking pattern.

When I feel fear going my way, I start going through a series of promises in God’s word. Promises like: God is for me, and not against me. If God is for me, who can be against me. And I kind of work up enough courage from the teachings in the Word of God – and the Holy Spirit reinforcing them in my mind – where I can say, “Ok, I’m going to face that fear head on.”

I’m going to do so, not because I think I can just overpower it on my own strength. But I’m going to do so because I’m a treasured child of the most high God. I’m someone that God loves and wants to accompany in this difficult situation.

I don’t know a better way to handle fear than to face it head on. You can try to dance around it but sooner or later, you just have to look it straight in the eye and deal with it.

See Part 3, Financially Reconciled from our interview with pastor Bill Hybels.