What Can I Do With My Fear and Frenemies?

Are you ready to Drain the Swamp? Let’s begin Week 3 with…

Fear & Frenemies

frenemy


THE PRACTICE

  1. Be mindful this week of any fear, anxiety, or anger you feel while on social media or news sites.
  2. Notice the people that might be stoking this emotion within you.
  3. For ten seconds, hold these people up before God.

Facebook Frenemy

I was scrolling through facebook recently when I noticed that a friend (let’s call him Jeff) had posted something. My mind flickered with memories from the past. I thought of how kind he is, of times when we laughed together, and when he was generous to me and my family.

Then I read his political Facebook post. Let’s just say I was slightly bothered by what he said.

deadtome

 

Congratulations Jeff, you are now a frenemy. 

Clear & Present Danger

Already, 2017 has been a crazy year. No matter what your political leanings, things are heating up. Within minutes of scrolling through news headlines it’s hard not be overwhelmed with fear, anger, or anxiety.

So what can I do when I feel my blood pressure rising?

Option 1: Create Distance

When I’m feeling overwhelmed by current events, I can take a break from social media. I can try things like:

  • Hide posts from my frenemies so they don’t appear in my newsfeed
  • Limit my time on Facebook and news sites

Option 2: Take Action

When I’m feeling overwhelmed by current events, I can be part of the solution. I can participate by:

  • Attending rallies
  • Contacting local representatives
  • Posting my opinions on facebook

Option 3: Pray for the Frenemies

 

The first two options are incredibly valuable and important. However, they are not enough for me. After creating distance and taking action I still feel overwhelmed with fear, anger, and anxiety.

It doesn’t help me to focus only on changing the situation or circumstances. Fear continues to follow me and it blinds me from making good decisions.

So this week, when I feel my internal temperature begin to rise while I’m on social media or news sites, I’m going to notice if I’m feeling anger, fear, or anxiety. Before I do anything else, no matter how noble it may seem, I’m going to pause for at least 10 seconds and follow Jesus’ words found in Matthew 5:44:

But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you…

Whatever actions I decide to take afterwards will have the benefit of being influenced, if even just a little, by my time spent with God.

Visual Prayer

I find it helpful to close my eyes and picture in my mind the frenemies, enemies, or people I’m anxious about resting in my cupped hands as I hold them up to God. Sometimes I picture God’s loving presence coming over us as a ray of light.

Visual Prayer

The reason I’m choosing to go visual instead of verbal this week is because I often find my prayers for my enemies to be about my will for them instead of God’s will.

“Dear God, please convince them of how wrong they are. Also, please smite them. Thanks.”

But as I stand in God’s presence, holding my enemy in the palms of my hands, there is something in that experience that is transformative and humbling for me.

If you find visual prayer helpful, great. If not, pray with words or whatever helps you connect with God.

Conclusion

Whoever we are angry at or fearful of or anxious about this week, we can pause for 10 seconds and hold them up before God. It might be:

  • A Facebook frenemy
  • A gun-toting conservative
  • A weed-smoking liberal
  • Trump
  • Obama
  • Syrian Refugees
  • Terrorists

This is not going to be easy. But as I continue to bring before God that which causes me fear, anger, and anxiety I am not only interceding for the transformation of others, but I’m standing before God which invites transformation for me as well.

 


Interested in giving this practice a try? You might find it healing to pursue a Sacred Badge of Courage.

Acknowledge the presence of whatever emotions you feel. It’s tempting to want to ignore intense emotions, but try bringing them with you as you enter God’s presence. Listen for His prompting on what to do next.


Comment below:

Are you thinking of practicing Fear & Frenemy this week? If so, let me know what your plan is.


8 thoughts on “What Can I Do With My Fear and Frenemies?

  1. Wow, what an insightful way to pray. Visually lifting up others to the Lord, awesome bananas! When I started reading your post I first thought, oh great another person “praying” for those who don’t hold like views. Like you mentioned, my tendency, and a lot of others as well, particularly on social media is to pray for the mis-thoughts and confusion of frenemies. I find the idea of visually lifting others up to the Lord and allowing for His will rather than my own to be a genuine and selfless way to enter into prayer. I rarely pray for people with different views because I don’t want to assume I know best and become just like my “frenimies” and “pray” for the ignorant. But this week I am going to try visual pray and see where it takes my heart and mind!

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    1. I’m so excited to receive my first comment with the phrase “awesome bananas!” haha love it. I look forward to hearing how the visual prayer goes this week for you. We will have to compare notes next week. Thanks for your thoughts!

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  2. Thank you for this. It could not have come at a better time for me. There is such a weird balance between ANGER anger, and righteous anger. I struggle with knowing how to react to an injustice. Is my anger righteous? At the end of the day – it is still just anger – that likes to just sit in me. I really appreciate having action steps to get the anger out – in a loving spirit lead way! Thank you.

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    1. Yes, I feel the same way about anger! It’s difficult to tell, especially in the moment, what is ANGER anger and what is righteous anger. At the very least, if this question is driving us to connect with Christ then I’d say we are on the right track. Thanks for your thoughts!

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  3. Lucas, this is an awesome and convicting post. I recognize my own propensity to internally boast about not taking the bait and maintaining a strict no-politics-on-social media rule. I value relationships over political arguments, so I try to stay above the pointless arguments with strangers, frenemies, and friends. However, I realize the pride in my heart that stems from such a practice, mentally casting stones at those who are regular political posters. And yet, you present an awesome opportunity we all have for a major heart transformation by simply stopping to pray for those with whom we disagree. Great word.

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  4. Wise words, Lucas. This is a challenging option of the three, and probably one that often gets overlooked. As I think about it, this is the one option of the three that doesn’t guarantee a resolution within our control – which is scary and anxiety-provoking to think about and understandable why we don’t often choose it! Looking forward to holding this practice in my mind this week. Thanks for posting.

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    1. That’s a great point. I like being in control. Probably why this is the most difficult option for me too. Thanks for your thoughts!

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