“If you know the enemy and know yourself you need not fear the results of a hundred battles”—Sun Tzu.
Every opponent was always bigger, especially in the final matches for the grand championship. Weight class did not matter to the judges. After all was said and done, only one would claim the prize. He saw the look of fear in my eyes as I was matched with the heavyweight champion, so he pulled me aside. “You’re always going to be small…nothing you can do about that now. Do what you know how to do and use your head. Listen for my voice,” Dad said while stepping back. I entered the ring, faced my opponent, and waited for the ref to yell, “Tatakae (Fight)!”
Anxiety and fear can come from many sources. These emotions can cripple and weigh us down (Proverbs 12:25; Luke 12:22-26). In some cases, ignoring this built-in defense mechanism is foolish. The very fact that we are afraid of something means that whatever it is—it’s not actually happening yet. Dwelling on hypothetical consequences is contrary to what Scripture teaches (Philippians 4:6-7; 1 Peter 5:6-7; Psalm 55:22-23). In the heat of the battle, we can be confident that we are gifted with a spirit of power, love, and a sound mind, not fear (2 Timothy 1:7). For believers, doing what we know means to replace worry with prayer, take the necessary action that the situation calls for, and to always be listening for our Father’s voice.