My son, who is now sleeping in the arms of Jesus, decided when he was about twenty to take up sky-diving. I asked him why he wanted to test for imperfections in a parachute, and he gave me this intriguing explanation. He found himself afraid in so many of life's normal experiences that he determined to push himself into a truly fearful situation. This might make him handle everyday life a little easier. A good dose of sky-diving makes normal life seem very tame.
Fearful thinking, yes, here is something we can all identify with. Whether this family trait is learnt or acquired, irrational fear is a defective way of thinking. Sure, there is nothing defective if we are racked with fear because our breaks have failed, but there is something wrong if we are afraid of the telephone. A person with this trait can't face conflicts. Such a person either avoids conflict or pretends it's not there. So, in the face of life's troubles, the fearful thinker builds barriers and takes on a defensive mode. They hide and so are ineffective, even debilitated in the face of life's battles.
We should always ask, afraid of what? "What can actually happen to me in this situation?" Why is it that we are often afraid of a situation where we can't actually get hurt, or at least, the chances are very small? The psalmist says "The Lord is on my side; I will not fear: what can man do unto me?" The fearful thinker may never overcome the negative training of a lifetime, but they can begin to absorb the positive input of the Spirit of God. Our Creator God loves us the way we are and so we have nothing to fear other than fear itself.