The word “thought” in the KJV in the Greek is, merimnaoô (mer-im-nah’-o). From that we get the English “worry” or “anxious.”
The Greek word for fear is phobeoô ( fob-eh’-o). It’s where we get the English word phobia.
In English the terms fear, anxiety, panic, and worry are closely related and overlap each other.
Fear is one of the strongest emotions that God placed within man is fear. It is the quality that preserves us in a dangerous world. There are some very legitimate reasons for fear, such as a car heading straight for you in traffic, or the bite of a deadly snake or spider. In these cases fear is not always sinful for a rational fear preserves us from dangerous situations.
Worry is the fear that bad things will happen in the future.
Worry and anxiety are similar and related to the idea that something bad is going to happen. Worry is different than non-sinful concern in the sense that it dominates or controls a person. It’s a fine line between being concerned about the future and making wise plans and letting worry consume us.
Panic is fear that so dominates a person that he or she cannot control it or his reactions to it. Usually, irrational responses ensue. Panic stems from (and this is very important) the continual fearing of the feeling of fear itself.
Continuing to be fearful, being a “worrywart” or anxiousness often leads to panic attacks and irrational responses to life’s circumstances. I’ve seen people who struggled with anxiety threaten to quit their jobs even if they did not have another lined up. Others withdraw from life out of fear they will feel fearful at some point and those feelings are so uncomfortable for them that they avoid them by remaining in their home.
Panic attacks, irrational fears, chronic worrying are fears that are out of control and take over a person’s life.
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