Faith vs. Fear – Which Will You Choose?

I talk to people about relationships and love every single day. Recently, I noticed a theme emerging from these conversations over and over again. This theme is at the very heart of what prevents most people (including myself) from allowing ourselves to truly, deeply love and be loved.

The issue faith… or rather the absence of faith.

The faith I’m referring to doesn’t necessarily need to be rooted in religion. Rather, I’m referring to a more broad, yet deeply profound confidence, belief, and trust in someone or something that is completely uncertain.

Our fear-mongering society has beaten faith out of us.

The hope in humanity that this nation was built on has been chased out of us. We’re scared of terrorists, tyrannical government, and trans-fats. We’re scared of the hyper-religious, and atheists. We’re scared of kidnappers, cancer, and pit bulls. We’re scared of global warming, Hollywood, rapists, child molesters, and we’re scared of love.

We’re terrified that love won’t last. We doubt whether we can remain faithful for a lifetime. We fear that our loving relationships will slowly turn into a passive aggressive grudge match, and arguments over taking out the trash, leaving dishes in the sink, and toenail clippings. We fear that things will change… and not for the best.

Every day someone asks me the question, “Is it worth the risk to give someone your whole heart? What if they leave/change/become abusive/take advantage of me/hurt me/cheat on me?

“Isn’t it easier to play it safe? I mean, you don’t have risk getting burned if you stay single. You can’t be emotionally destroyed if you hold back just a enough, and don’t fully open your heart.

“The person with the most power in a relationship is always the person who cares the least, right? I’d rather have control, safety, and certainty than be the one who gets burned.”

It’s conversations like this that make me realize how faithless our society has become. We have been trained not to have faith in each other. We know how easy it is for us to change our mind, and knowing that the love of your life can change their mind makes it easy to doubt love.

The interesting thing about faith is that it cannot exist without doubt (faith without doubt is certainty), but if we allow that doubt to get a hold of our hearts, it can twist our uncertain reality into something it’s not. It will mutate into fear. Then we are faced with a choice, do we allow fear to take over and our faith to go right out the window? Or do we dispel the fear with a heavy dose of love and faith in others and in the world?

Fear and faith cannot coexist. One will always dispel the other.

You must choose between certainty and love, emotional safety and deep connection, complete control and vulnerability.

You must have the courage to make the more difficult choice to experience the greater reward. Faith in the face of uncertainty is at the very core of love.

What do you think? Has fear eradicated faith? Do you need faith to have a healthy relationship? What are ways you can cultivate more trust in others? Let me know in the comments section!

And don’t forget to share this post if you liked it!

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I'm the creator of The Loveumentary. I believe that just like art, language, and music, love is a skill that can be developed and mastered if you have the right training, mentors, and a high level of commitment. My hope is to help bring the possibility of extraordinary love to you and others like you. Thanks for reading! Please drop me a line or leave a comment if you have any questions or feedback.

    I recently read an article (I wish I could find it…) asking people if they are happier now than they were 5 years ago. In general, people said yes. Then it asked if people think they’ll be happier in 5 years than they are now. Almost all of them said no, that they didn’t believe they could be happier than they were currently. Even when pointing out that they were happier now than in the past, people had a hard time believing that they could be happier in the future. -Weird.

    This is my favorite article you’ve written. Great job. 🙂

    • Awww, thanks Alison.

      That’s such a great insight. Sometimes we put limitations on our own ability to experience happiness. So glad you liked this one. Hopefully more good stuff will come out of my brain soon to share.

    • VinceLin

      Time exponentially increases the depth of the emotions and relationship, I know for sure that I will was happier the longer I knew my last girlfriend

  • Mari Upthegrove

    I always choose faith over fear, but it has not worked out for me so far. However, I refuse to be a cynic. I hope someday my mate will come along, but in the meantime I refuse to lose faith in love. I know it’s real.

  • Pop

    I love this article! This rings so true (unfortunately)!!! We are ruled by fear. Everyone seem so scared to feel nowadays, to open up to love, fully and whole heartedly, and there are so many amazing but lonely people suffering due to this fear. It’s just stupid and a waste of precious time that one could be sharing with another amazing person right now. Warms my heart and gives me hope when reading your blog – thank you and please keep on spreading the word – let’s start a Love revolution!

  • Lady

    I love this project so much. Thank you for embarking on this journey to resurrect the concept of true love 🙂 This topic is very interesting to me because until recently, I was in a long-term relationship with someone who was consistently plagued by doubt and uncertainty about our future. I loved him very much, and I know he loved me too, but in the end, the relationship became toxic as the amount of doubt he felt eclipsed the faith I could reasonably hold onto. I chose to leave, and I still struggle, on occasion, with the question of whether or not I gave in too easily. But as I’ve thought about it (and reflected on this post), I realize that the decision to honor faith over fear applies as much to building peace and stability within oneself as it does to taking a chance on a partnership. I can’t say I imagined I’d be single again, but in the end, I chose faith in my ability to thrive on my own over the fear of being without him or our projected future. In that way, I too am choosing “love, emotional safety, deep connection” [with myself and hopefully someday soon, my future partner] over “certainty,” even if the “certainty” I left behind had a great deal of uncertainty built into it too 🙂

    And to answer your prompts in the end, I absolutely do believe you need to have faith in a healthy relationship, just as long as your faith doesn’t blind you to seeing the whole person in front of you (ironically, too much doubt can cause similar blindness). I also think that we should accept that doubt and uncertainty will always be present even in the most compatible match. Fear of missing out on “someone better,” fear of getting hurt or becoming stuck, fear of being disappointed, etc. are all major obstacles to modern love. I wished more than anything that my ex could have understood that commitment in love is made in the presence of doubt, not in the absence of it. But I’ve learned that it’s not something you can convince someone of—we all learn it at our pace, on our own.

    • Brandon

      “I wished more than anything that my ex could have understood that commitment in love is made in the presence of doubt, not in the absence of it.” Wow. What a quote. Thank you.