An acronym for FEAR

I recently came across an acronym for the word “FEAR.” False Evidence Appearing Real. 

I don’t know who originally came up with it so I can’t give them credit. But I think it’s a helpful way to think about it.

There are times when we let “false evidence” take over our thinking. These are untruths that masquerade as facts. We then mistakenly let them determine how we are going to think or feel about a whole variety of things.

Some people think that if God doesn’t answer a prayer in a very specific way then God must (a) not be real, or (b) not care about their situation. 

Others think that since miracles don’t happen all the time that they can’t happen some of the time. 

Still others think that if you feel alone then you must be alone, and that if you can’t think of a solution to a problem then God can’t either.

All of this is false evidence appearing real. When we let untruths go unchecked, they are weeds of fear which start to strangle the good growth of peace and purpose in the otherwise healthy garden of our minds.

In hockey there’s a saying. “The best defense is a good offense.” With that in mind, if you want to defend against fear, you need to proactively ground yourself in God’s promises. If your mental house is packed with truth then untruth is going to know it isn’t welcome when it comes up to the front door and tries to squeeze in.

Read God’s promises. Pray on them. Talk about them with others. Print them out and hang them on your walls. 

Let me say that again. Read God’s promises. Pray on them. Talk about them with others. Print them out and hang them on your walls. 

Friends, this is spiritual war, not a walk in the park.

“The LORD is with me; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?” (Psalm 118:6)


New podcast and blog. “Understanding Baptism.” In this piece I explain the meaning of baptism, who we baptize, and provide the rationale. You can click here, or tune in to ‘The Pulse Podcast with Matthew Ruttan’ wherever you subscribe to podcasts.

–The Up Devotional is published 5 days a week (Monday to Friday) and returns on October 17, 2022.

–Bible quotes are from the NIV.

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