This past week, we talked about fears — what you teens wrestle with, and ways to increase our faith to combat it.
Then we opened our night with a KAHOOT asking all about: How much do you know about what makes people afraid?!
You can play it here and test your knowledge!!
FACTS ABOUT FEARS
We talked about the science of fear and what some awesome psychological studies have taught us about how we respond to a situation when we’re afraid. Some of the highlights included the fact that
– Fear can make something seem worse than it is (Ex. people afraid of heights guessed it was higher than it actually was)
– Fear can be influenced by our environment and what we choose to put in our lives (Ex. a psychologist said that many of the top fears of the year were directly correlated with the news headlines)
– When you’re afraid it’s much more difficult to make rational decisions, you are less accurate in your response, your environment becomes negative, and your body goes into the flight-fight response
WALL OF FEAR
Teens got notecards to write down on each a fear that they have and pinned it to the floating wall of fear (ex. Fear of failing, of being alone, of letting my parents down, of not getting into college, of spiders, etc….). It was good to know that we weren’t alone in our fears of being left out or let down or of going up in hot air balloons! 🙂
Brave volunteers offered to eat or experience fearful things like on the old TV show “Fear Factor”. Blindfolded contestants were able to stick out their tongues without any knowledge of what they were going to receive.
We discussed how this relates to our loving God the Father — we must trust Him to give us good things and know that He loves us. We don’t need to be afraid because God walks with us.
“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil for you are at my side.” Psalm 23
We discussed how do we go about fighting our fears and talked about in small groups about how our fears can be linked to our faith, so confronting them and trying to diminish them can be a really important step in growing closer to God and His will for our lives.
There was a pretty good article that gave advice about how to deal with our fears…
1. Name your fears. By saying what it is that is frightening you, you don’t let it have that power or influence over you and you can begin to battle it.
2. Own the fear. Don’t repress, just acknowledge so that you can begin to deal with them.
3. Befriend your fears. Sit in your fears and give them your attention at a time when you can process them and limit your energy to them, rather than letting them drain your energy and be obsessed about all the time.
4. Share your fears with a friend. Bring them to the light and share your heart with a trusted loved one.
5. Pray for and develop the virtues of courage and trust. Lean into the promises that God has already fulfilled in your life to increase that trust in His goodness. Flex those muscles of courage by doing things that frighten you.
6. Take action. Don’t let your fears paralyze you or rob you of the joy that life has to offer. Confront those fears and move towards working through them.
7. Entrust your fears to the Lord. Let’s pray and offer our fears to God and remember that He will continue to lead us through difficulties in our lives.
FAITH & FEAR OF THE LORD
We find time and time again that we must remedy fear by looking to God’s sovereignty, trustworthiness, faithfulness, and goodness. And there is even a gift of the Holy Spirit called the Fear of the Lord that reminds us of God’s “Bigness” in the world and in our lives. We reverence (revere) God for Who He is. We also remember that “perfect love casts out fear” (1 john 4:18).
1. What is one of your bigger fears?
2. Can you name a fear that is presently hindering your spiritual or psychological growth? (Examples might include: fear of the future and not trusting in God; fear of being rejected by non-Christian friends; fear of being “weird” by doing the right thing; fear of failure for spreading the Gospel, etc.)
3. How do you generally deal with your fears? Is it your tendency to ignore or deny fear? Or do you tend to confront your fears and do what you can to deal with them in a constructive way?
4. Can you name a fear that you have successfully overcome? What helped you to overcome the fear?
5. Do you ever think about the gifts of the Holy Spirit that you’ve been given sacramentally – specifically the gift of Fear of the Lord?
6. What do you think is the antidote to a fear you’re currently struggling with? Or what is it that you need from the Holy Spirit right now to combat something that’s pulling you down?
7. Can you pinpoint a particular fear as the source of some of your repeat sins? Do you think uprooting that fear will help you to not sin?
Fear of the Lord: http://catholicstraightanswers.com/fear-lord/
Fighting Fear: https://www.ascensioncatholic.net/Dealing-with-Fear