I used to be terrified of chemicals in my body care products. Terrified is an understatement. Overcoming the spirit of fear is not an easy process, especially in a world saturated with fear. Yet our heavenly father does not want us to live in fear!
For me, it was the fear of chemicals in my home and beauty products. For you, this article might apply to a different area of your life. However, the applications are the same. This article is written from the perspective of someone who went through a season of fear with all my home and body products, but you can easily extract the same scripture we will talk about to your own circumstances in overcoming the spirit of fear.
The fear of chemicals is not the answer. God did not give us a spirit of fear, yet all too often we work on overcoming the spirit of fear in all avenues of our life, but then shrink back in fear when we find one of our beauty products contains a frightful chemical. The fear of chemicals is not the answer.
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The Spirit of Fear in our Home Products
Have you ever used a product with a certain ingredient only to find out after a length of time that ingredient was quite dangerous? My hand goes up on this one time and time again. The health world is constantly changing its mind on what’s healthy and what is not.
For years I tried formulating a natural and effective deodorant. Baking soda was too aggravating to my skin. Arrowroot gave me breakouts. Coconut oil ruined my clothes. I finally succumbed to a 2-year search for a natural product that was free from harsh chemicals like aluminum and parabens. This was close to 10 years ago when the natural deodorant section was significantly smaller and there definitely was no deodorant at Target that claimed such a thing.
I finally found a truly remarkable product, that I continue to keep in my cabinet and use it occasionally. It was used consistently for 4 years until a fateful day when I was introduced to another amazing resource called Think Dirty.
Think Dirty is an app that will truly revolutionize the way you evaluate your health products from the store. I eagerly scanned in and found all but one of my normal health products were very clean. Of course, it was my daily deodorant. The culprit ingredient was fragrance.
Fragrance probably seems very ambiguous, and it is. It is a fancy way to say that a company does not wish to disclose where the aroma of their product comes from. Is it chemically based? Synthetically based? Maybe they use essential oils? But if they do use essential oils, which ones?
Ugh! It’s simply another way to confuse and confound consumers in their attempts to choose products that are clean and effective for their families.
Years ago, I would have taken that deodorant and in absolute fear, would have thrown it in the garbage can. For days I would have agonized about what the sneaky ingredient had done to my body for the years I used it.
Maybe the unknown fragrance already had affected my body and I’ll get breast cancer as a result.
Perhaps it had affected my glands.
What if it had seeped into my breastmilk?
Oh no! What if it had seeped into my breastmilk and it was already affecting my child!
What if he gets cancer as a result.
You see how overcoming the spirit of fear is not that easy?
What does the Bible say about Overcoming the Spirit of Fear?
I’m not making this stuff up. These are the thoughts that used to penetrate my thick skull as I feared and agonized about another ‘wrong’ decision that I had made in regards to my natural products.
For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.
2 Timothy 1:7 ESV
Are you one of those people that have fear penetrating your heart when you think of all the chemicals that we subject our bodies to? Let me give you one word of advice. STOP. I really mean it, just STOP. You are probably doing your body more harm than those chemicals are. Not to mention the spiritual conundrum you are placing your mind and heart in. It's a time of a little bit of overcoming the spirit of fear in our lives.
How small do you think your God is? Is he so small in your mind that you think he cannot save you from man-made chemically-laden products?
Can I tell you some good news? God is bigger than your chemically-laden products. He is bigger than your make-up. God is bigger than your deodorant. He is bigger than your cleaning supplies! Overcoming the spirit of fear starts with laying down our anxiety and pouring our hearts out to God.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. Philippians 4:6
How do you Overcome Fear Biblically?
Next time you accidentally use a product that you know is not quite safe, why don’t you say a quick prayer? I know it sounds a bit charismatic, but just hear me out.
Did you know that the dye in most dish soap has estrogen-mimicking ingredients? Your skin is the largest organ of your body and each time you dip your hands into that dish soap water your skin is absorbing estrogen-mimicking compounds. The truth is, those estrogen-mimicking compounds really can mess up our hormones.
But my God is bigger than estrogen-mimicking compounds.
I’m still trying to train my mind to put on gloves each time I wash dishes, but I almost daily forget. This is where the rubber meets the road. Do I succumb to the fear that this knowledge can bring me? Or do I gratefully thank my savior for meeting my daily needs and give the fear over to him? Overcoming the spirit of fear starts with laying down our fears at the foot of the cross.
What Causes Fear?
When our body reacts to fear it releases a hormone that affects an area of the brain known as the amygdala. It helps us react to the fear and then store it in our memory. The hormones that course through our body help to save us when we are in a truly life-threatening situation. God made our body react strongly to fear in order to save us from life-threatening turmoil.
Fear has an almost immediate effect on our immune system. This information really hit home for me. Our immune system is responsible for fighting off things that are foreign, dangerous, or infectious to our bodies. Chemically laden products are a pretty good start to what our immune system works to fight off. Yet when we react with fear our stress response receptors go off. A stress hormone called corticosteroid can suppress the immune system, making it less effective to fight off dangers to our body.
Friends, we are not designed to live in fear. We are designed to live in gratitude and worship our creator.
Take another look at 2 Timothy 1:7 and notice the last phrase about a sound mind. I believe that God gave us a sound mind to learn and thrive off that learning. We can learn about natural health and the natural resources that God gave us. God has gifted us healing plants that we can learn about. We can learn about how our bodies naturally heal.
There is the freedom to digest all this wonderful knowledge, but if we do so based on the fear of the alternatives chemical products we do a disservice to our bodies and I believe miss the blessings of living a life in trusting God.
God is bigger than our fear of unsafe products.
For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.
2 Timothy 1:7
The Hidden Dangers of Natural Products
I would be amiss if I didn’t touch on two hidden dangers of becoming interested in the natural/holistic/homeopathic lifestyle.
- The danger of thinking we are mini god healers. We are NOT healers. Jesus is the ONLY healer. He is the way, the truth, and the life. We do not even for a second hold the power of healing. Our bodies heal despite our efforts. They heal despite our choices to pursue natural, homeopathic, medical, or traditional avenues of caring for or healing our bodies. We heal based on the sovereignty of God. He gave us a sound mind to learn, not to become mini gods that worship the world of natural health.
- The danger of worshiping natural or holistic health. This one grieves my heart because I edge so close to this. Praise God he gave us a mind and conscious to pursue knowledge. I love learning about holistic and natural health, and I know many others who share a like-minded passion. But friends and sisters in Christ, please hold fast to the truth that God is the only one worth of our worship. I worship him because he created these natural avenues of health, not because the natural world of health is worthy of my affections or worship.
Three Powerful Steps in Overcoming the Spirit of Fear
I've heard it said that fear is a natural emotion. And it is, but it is not a natural emotion to hold onto. There are nine fruits of the spirit that are evidence of living in accord with the Holy Sprint. Fear is not listed in them. It may be a natural emotion, but it is not one to hold onto. One way we work on overcoming the spirit of fear in our lives is by replacing it with a fruit of the spirit.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
What are three powerful steps in overcoming the spirit of fear?
There are very few things on this earth that will bring you more peace than coming to the throne of God and bringing your requests.
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
Memorizing Poweful Scripture
Memorizing scripture such as 2 Timothy 1:7 or Philippians 4:6 will help by putting truth at the forefront of your mind.
Repacing Fear with the Fruits of the Spirit
Remember how I said that fear is a natural emotion, but it is not one that we should hold onto? When we feel anxiety or fear, we can start replacing it with the fruits of the spirit. In the case of my fear of chemical products, do you know what fruit of the spirit I replaced my fear with? Self-control. My fear was not rooted in godly truth. Having the self-control to realize that helped me gain control of the fear.
Whatever your fear or anxiety is rooted in, we should point our gaze back onto the one who is the sustainer of our lives. God is bigger than our knowledge. He knows more than our tiny little brains can comprehend. Praise God he has given us the knowledge to pursue health. But do so in the freedom in knowing he is in control.