One thought conditioner that has really changed my life is number eleven:
For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. —2 Timothy 1: 7
I used to be a person who was full of fears and worries and anxieties. I really let my fears occupy a big part of each day. I agonized over each decision I made, certain that something terrible would happen if I made the wrong choice.
When John and I read through the Thought Conditioner booklet, this passage seemed like it held a lot of promise. As I repeated it to myself, I loved the way it sounded. God has not given us a spirit of fear. It began to make me see that my anxieties were, for the most part, needless and were a waste of my energy. The spirit of fear that I was living with did not come from God. I started thinking about all the times that Jesus told people not to be afraid, and I decided that I did not want to live with all these fears and anxieties.
I didn’t know how to go about getting rid of my fears, so I turned to the second part of the scripture, “but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” I thought that these three things must hold the answer to eliminating my fears and anxieties. When I felt afraid, I would tell myself that God has given me a spirit of power. I would imagine God’s power and love overcoming and eliminating the thing I feared. In prayer, I would ask God to strengthen power in me and I would focus on feeling the power growing inside me. I also prayed for a sound mind, a mind that was not filled with anxieties, but was filled with the peace that Jesus offered. I continue to bring this scripture to mind whenever I feel fearful about something.
In the movie Francesco, there is a point where St. Francis is talking to one of his friends and he says “I have hardly any fear any more.” I began to pray that I would have the faith of St. Francis, a faith strong enough to allow “hardly any fear” into my life.
Slowly, slowly, I have been conquering my fears. I still have my moments, but for the most part I am able to live in the present moment and not worry about the future. Even facing the uncertainty of my vision, I do not feel very much fear. I feel love – the love of God and the love of my family – surrounding me. I feel a sound mind – a mind that can tackle each obstacle when it approaches – inside me. And I feel power – the power of a strong faith – protecting me. This thought conditioner has become part of my reality. God has not given me a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.