As you welcome students to class, invite them to share some common fears that many people have, such as the fear of public speaking, fear of heights, fear of spiders, etc. Once students are all present, you can read the following list of phobias. After you read the name of each phobia, invite teens to guess what the phobia is about. The answers are in parentheses.
Nomophobia (Fear of being without your mobile phone)
Arithmophobia (Fear of numbers)
Xanthophobia (Fear of the color yellow)
Ablutophobia (Fear of bathing)
Octophobia (Fear of the number eight)
These fears may seem silly, but the truth is that many people live in fear. In the last year, there has been a pandemic, a stressful political environment, a large amount of violence and hate, and a plethora of natural disasters. These are all things that can cause fear!
Fear is an incredibly powerful motivator, manipulating our behavior in a way that few other forces are capable of. It can motivate us to do things (like lock our doors each night or wear a seatbelt), but most often, it motivates us to not do something.
In fact, I’m sure we all have our own fears. Everyone in this class probably has a lifelong fear—something you’ve held onto for years. There’s no way you’d face this thing voluntarily.
- What are some of your lifelong fears? (Allow a few students to share their own fears.)
- What would it take for you to willingly face this fear? (Answers may include money, fame, or personal achievement.)
Even though fear is all in our heads, that doesn’t make it any less challenging to overcome. Our mind is a powerful regulator, and it can take a lot to ignore its warnings. Thankfully, God wants to make us courageous! He wants to take our fears and replace them with courage instead. In fact, He’s already done this countless times for brave Christians throughout history.
Today, we’ll look at the story of Esther to see how she overcame her fears by faith.