What This Zach Williams Song Gets Wrong About Fear and Anxiety
There is a very popular song in the Christian music industry called “Fear Is a Liar” by Zach Williams. I have had the opportunity to meet Mr. Williams and from what I could tell he seems like a great guy. I don’t have any issues with him as a person. I do think there are a couple of unintended consequences from this song that I want to mention.
Before I go into those consequences, I should first clarify that I am in no way saying that this song should be boycotted or labeled as bad. In fact, you can check it out here. If you ever have a chance to see Zach Williams live, definitely check him out. He puts on a great show.
I don’t think I am just missing the point of the song that God is bigger than my circumstances and will carry me through. I just want to give a perspective of someone who struggles with anxiety that may not have been positioned to you before.
Fear is not always a liar.
Fear often tells the truth of the reality that many of us face: there are bad things that happen in our lives. We often have little to no control over those events. And pain is a very real thing that happens all the time! When a person struggles with anxiety, it is because the body is reacting to a perceived threat of being forced to experience that pain. That threat may or may not actually be there, but the effect is the same. The mind is telling the body that there is something to be afraid of.
This is not always a bad thing, and fear is not something that should always be demonized.
Fear can be protective. If a person is walking through the woods and a bear starts charging at them, it is good to be afraid. Fear is a God-given reaction to things that we need protection from.
Fear can also be a tool of respect. The Bible says, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” (Proverbs 9:10). This doesn’t mean that we have to be afraid of God. It is just a way of saying that God is not someone to dismiss as trivial.
Fear can additionally be used to help us remember. I have had multiple times in my life where the pain of my past has triggered me into feeling anxious about my present, reminding me to not take the moments that we have in life for granted. I have remembered to say “I love you” to the people who matter to me because I know they can be taken away at any moment.
I do believe that God is big enough to handle anything that comes my way. I also believe that bad things can happen at any moment.
So when the phone rings and I feel the rush of adrenaline go through my body because I have answered it too many times to hear that “____ has died”, please don’t tell me to stop worrying.
So when I hear that SWAT has been called to my daughter’s school because someone in the building has been making threats to shoot up the school, don’t tell me I am overreacting.
Even when I say I can’t go into a grocery store because I know what they do to me and I just can’t deal with another panic attack right now, don’t tell me I am being overdramatic.
If fear of my future is such an ungodly thing, then why did Jesus sweat blood before He was arrested?
Yes God has this. But if you tell me that fear is always a liar so I should have no reason to be afraid, you are telling me that my feelings don’t matter and I am wrong for exhibiting fear.
There are plenty of reasons to be afraid. Don’t tell me there are not. I trust God but that doesn’t mean that what I am facing can’t be devastating. I have seen too much, I have felt too much, I have lost too much to not be afraid.
So instead of flippantly saying that fear is a liar, tell me that you will help me walk through it. It’s OK to fear, just please don’t make me do it alone.
Lead photo via <wbr />Zach Williams’ Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/zachwilliamslive/