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Calming Your Fears

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Calming Your Fears

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo gives an update on his work internationally during the coronavirus pandemic.

Then, in a discussion based on her book 30 Days to Taming Your Fears, Deborah Pegues offers hope to those who feel overwhelmed by anxiety, providing practical suggestions for overcoming it with God's help.

Original Air Date: November 16, 2018

Today's Guests

Episode Summary

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo gives an update on his work internationally during the coronavirus pandemic.

Then, in a discussion based on her book 30 Days to Taming Your Fears, Deborah Pegues offers hope to those who feel overwhelmed by anxiety, providing practical suggestions for overcoming it with God's help.

Original Air Date: November 16, 2018

Episode Transcript

Jim Daly: Hi, this is Jim Daly. Before we get to our regular scheduled program with Deborah Pegues, I had a great conversation with the Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, and I thought you would find it interesting. So, before we get to Deborah, let’s play a few minutes of my conversation with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Mr. Secretary, welcome back to Focus on the Family.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo: Jim, it’s great to be with you today.

Jim: Let’s start with the creed of the State Department. I know you know it. If you can indulge me for the listeners, I’ll read it quickly. The State Department mission is, “to create a more secure, democratic and prosperous world for the benefit of the American people and the international community.” From where you’re sitting, are we achieving that goal?

Secretary Pompeo: Every day, Jim. President Trump’s leadership at home. He talks about making America great again. We’re delivering that. We’re delivering it by doing the things we need to do here in this challenging time to push back against those who generated this virus, the place that it came from in Wuhan. To understand what happened so that we can solve this ongoing crisis. We’ve been very focused on trying to get the Chinese Communist Party to open up, to get transparency, so we can see what we need to see to save lives and get our economy going back again. But all around the world, we have made clear America is prepared to lead. We’re going to do the right things. We – we have this nation founded on this central document that permits us to pursue life, liberty, happiness for our people. And when we do that and we do that well, the State Department delivers that all across the world and that redounds to the benefit of every American.

Jim: It sure does. And we’re so grateful and appreciative for the work that you do, obviously, and President Trump’s leadership in that regard. Let me ask you, we had a little hiccup with a tech company. It was Google. To be honest. And, uh, you know, they’ve tightened down a lot of their filters, et cetera. But in the course of correcting that, as we – I got on the line with some people at Google. I was talking to actually a Christian who works there at Google, and he lamented the fact of how dark it can be, what humanity does to each other. And he sees it every day and they’re trying to filter these things out. I would imagine as the Secretary of State, you probably get a window into the darkness of humanity as well, don’t you?

Secretary Pompeo: It’s certainly the case that in my time, both as CIA Director and now as Secretary of State, I have seen that. I’ve seen places where – where there wasn’t a lot of hope for people on this material planet where the leadership treated them so poorly. You can see it with the million (unintelligible) that are detained in the western part of China just because of their faith. You can see it in other pockets of the world. But I’ll say this, Jim, too. I’ve seen a lot of places where I know the Lord’s at work, where there – there is hope, even whether the physical world may be difficult, the country may be poor, there may be real oppression from the government – that I – I watch, uh, humanity. I recognize the dignity of every human being as does our State Department. And I could see. I could – I also see lots of good things. So, while it’s certainly the case that there is a darkness out there, that – the Bible talks about that.

Jim: Right.

Secretary Pompeo: Since, uh – since its beginning. There is darkness. I also see that there are people of, not only Christians, but people of other faiths, too, who have found a way and who can do and act in a way that’s consistent with the ideals that I know you and I both hold.

Jim: Yeah. You know, when I think about it and, of course, I know you finished number one at West Point. So, I was at Cal State, San Bernardino, so I’m shaking a little bit to ask you this question. (Laughter) But, uh, when you think about it, Aristotle, Plato, these people, these philosophers that tried to get down to what is truth? What is truth really actually about? That’s another thing that you – you have a unique exposure to when nations are trying to manipulate and twist and turn. As a person of faith, how do those words register with you when you talk about what is truth? Like Pontius Pilot, what is truth?

Secretary Pompeo: Yes, sadly, Jim, there are leaders around the world who use deception and disinformation to deny the dignity to the citizens that they are tasked with leading. I see it all the time. I see nations that have chosen paths where propaganda and disinformation are the things that accrete them power and social status. One of the blessings of working in America is that you – you get a chance to be part of this conversation where the media holds us accountable, where we have an obligation to tell the truth, where the American people get to see it all in all its glory. I know we’ve had issues with some of our tech companies, Google included, where we were concerned about what they were doing in terms of blocking information and content that they – they weren’t being even-handed in the way they do it. But I must say, when I watch what takes place inside of other countries where they are denied that information, whether it’s inside of North Korea or inside of China today, where they don’t have access to basic information, you see bad things happen. You know, we’re in one of those moments where the Chinese Communist Party tried to suppress information about this virus, about where it began, about how it started, about how it was being transmitted from human to human. Indeed, employed the World Health Organization to further that storyline. When you see the absence of truth and of people who are prepared to say, you know, sometimes it’s, “I don’t know.” But often to say, “Look, here’s what we’re working on and here’s what we know and we’re going to keep working at it.” You see that this is why democracies prevail. It’s why our founders were so ingenious. And it’s why I’m convinced that America, as the greatest civilization in the history of mankind, will continue to prosper.

Jim: And, you know, it’s difficult when you – when you at the pinnacle of diplomacy for the country and yet you’re a believer in Christ and you see this. It’s got to be, you know – the long range goal is to say, how do I move a nation along toward vulnerability, toward visibility, transparency? I mean, those are all good things. But it must be extremely frustrating to be in the process of trying to help a nation, whether it’s China or any nation you’re working with, to evolve in such a way that they can be more transparent. It’s – the Biblical analogy is so obvious that human beings, we try to cover up errors and mistakes. It’s the garden. It’s what happened to Adam and Eve. Right? But how do you maintain a good attitude that there is a better place for all of us to get to and then go into work every day trying to get there when you’re getting arrows thrown at you all the time?

Secretary Pompeo: (Laughter) Well, I am by nature a warrior, but a happy warrior. And so, I try to walk in every day – and I fail at this, too. We all fall short. But I try to walk in as someone who’s working on this with joy. I am Christian, so I have a belief that I understand what it is that we’re being asked to do here through God’s grace. But I know my responsibility to the Constitution and my duty. And so, I just – I get this incredible privilege to serve as America’s chief diplomat. And as I stare at the challenges around the world, I know that I can’t make them all right tomorrow. But my team at the State Department and all of the leaders in our government work every day to try and move the ball forward just a little bit. Jim, you’ve seen us do that on religious freedom.

Jim: Oh, yes.

Secretary Pompeo: It’s something we’ve been very committed to. Not every country is at the same level. We acknowledge that. But our mission set is to bring everybody a little bit further, to give every human being that chance to worship, to – to practice their faith, to exercise their conscience in the way that they want to. And it’s been glorious to be part of making the world a little bit more religiously free. We have a long ways to go, but I am confident that with our continued efforts, we can improve it.

Jim: Well, and I’m grateful, as a Christian, that the President and his administration, including you, have the courage to – to do that. And some people would consider that partisan. But I don’t care, if a Democrat were to do that, I’d support them too, you know, and emotionally and be thankful for that support. And I hope more Democrats and Republicans agree to religious freedom as well.

Secretary Pompeo: Oh, goodness, Jim. My – my experience working on religious freedom is it’s not remotely partisan. It’s been great.

Jim: Oh, that’s good.

Secretary Pompeo: We – I’ve worked alongside – I’ve worked alongside Democrats. I’ve worked (unintelligible) like people of multiple faiths. I’ve – I’ve watched this. For those who understand it’s importance, the centrality that is to every human being being respected for their humanness, that doesn’t have a “D” or an “R.” It has – it is the way that America ought to operate and the way the world ought to operate if we can get it going right.

Jim: Yeah. It’s so true. Hey, let me – a couple of other questions. One is just the generosity of the American spirit. I mean, I think I’ve seen a number like $6.5 billion dollars have been given internationally by U.S. citizens, private companies, et cetera. You know, again, the head, the lead person on our diplomacy side, that has to make you a bit proud that Americans know how to be generous, especially Latin America. The places – $6.5 billion is a lot of money to come out of our pockets to help other people we don’t know.

Secretary Pompeo: It – it is. This is, uh – we have a long history of that. And this is continued in the Trump administration. We’re enormously generous people. The 6.5 billion dollars is more than any other nation gives. We’re – we’re just – that’s – that’s who we are as Americans. I – it does make me very, very proud. And it makes me sad, too, when I see some people say, “Oh, goodness. America’s not leading. America is not out in front trying to solve this pandemic” or whatever it may be. No, the truth is the American people are always out there on the edge trying to get it right. It’s not just that money. We have faith based organizations all across the world coming from America, traveling to difficult places on mission trips and to go do good work, the Lord’s work, around the world. It’s remarkable to see that American spirit in – in place. I got a chance to travel and see it from time to time. And it always – it’s always incredibly heartening to me. And when I talk to my colleagues around the world, they know.

Jim: Yeah.

Secretary Pompeo: They know that Americans are good and generous people.

Jim: That’s very good. I mean, it is the character of God. It’s His heart to have that generosity. And it is good to see people, both of faith and even people not of faith, operate with that. Let me – let me finally go to something that intrigues me. I am a bit of a Tom Clancy fan and being the Former Director of the CIA it’s just fun to talk to you.

Secretary Pompeo: (Laughter).

Jim: But this Five Eyes Report. I mean, even the title of it is kind of intriguing, the Five Eyes Report. What is that? And is that a common practice that these nations collaborate on intelligence to figure out what’s really going on in the world?

Secretary Pompeo:  All right. I’ll give you a little Clancy. So, yes, this is a – this a group of five nations. They gather together. It’s five of the world’s leading intelligence organization, countries that have some of the finest intelligence organizations in the world. It’s the Aussies, the New Zealanders, the Canadians, ourselves and the Brits. Those are the five members of the group. There’s a historic foundation for it that you can read about if you go online. But it’s a group that has worked closely together to try to develop best practices, to share information and deliver good outcomes for not only those five nations, but for the world and the intelligence community.

Jim: Man, in some ways that gives me such comfort that people seeking truth, governments that are hopefully truth seekers, can work together in that way to uncover things that are detrimental to the rest of the world. So, thank you for that work. Let me just end with that – that faith question. Being a man of faith, the 50000 foot view, pre-pandemic, post-pandemic, what kind of world do we have post-pandemic? What does it look like?

Secretary Pompeo: You know, when I – when I put that lens on and I – I come to work every day. I’m not shy about my faith. I am confident that we will pass through this, too. That we’ll obviously have to make sure that we do the right things to both keep people safe and healthy and do the right things to make sure something like this doesn’t happen again. But I have every confidence that the United States will lead the world out of this time of crisis and that in time this will continue to be a place that continues to look towards heaven and this nation will continue to lead in the way that it always has.

Jim: Well, Mr. Secretary, I am so appreciative of your work. I know on behalf of the 7 million listeners to Focus on the Family, they will be praying for you and lifting you up and your work there at the State Department. Thank you for being so bold about your faith. Thank you for being yielded to what God wants to do with your life for you and your family. We just appreciate you so very much. Thank you. And make sure you hear those positive accolades as well…

Secretary Pompeo: (Laughter).

Jim: …Because I know you get the arrows all the time.

Secretary Pompeo: Thank you, Jim. Thanks for having me on today. I really do appreciate it.

Jim: All right. Take care.

Secretary Pompeo: Thank you, sir.

Excerpt:

Deborah Pegues: When the fear pops up, you have to be ready to combat the fear. And you have to declare the Word. You have to declare it. I find that faith comes by hearing. And so, when I’m fearful, I hear – I need to hear myself. I need to encourage myself.

End of Excerpt

John Fuller: Deborah Pegues is with us today on Focus on the Family. And your host is Focus president and author Jim Daly. I’m John Fuller.

Jim: Hey, John, the most frequent command in the Bible is not to be afraid. And God doesn’t want us to live in fear. I believe that. Uh, Paul tells us in 2 Timothy 1:7 that, “God gave us a spirit not of fear, but of power and love and self-control.” Even if you don’t live in a constant state of fear, and I hope you don’t, um, you will likely face fear at some point. And here at Focus on the Family, we want you to live freely in Christ and to live abundantly in Christ. And that is our goal – in your marriage, in your parenting and in your household and your friendships. That is a life worth living. Um, if you’re struggling with fear, we’re here for you. We have caring Christian counselors you can talk to. They can help you with resources. Supporters of the ministry are capable of supplying that. And we are grateful to each and every person who donates, and this is what we put it toward. So, take advantage of it. Give us a call and, uh, get some help.

John: Yeah. Our number is 800-232-6459, 800-A-FAMILY. And our guest today is gonna provide some practical help and hope regarding fear and those anxieties that we all tend to have at one point or another. Deborah Pegues has been with us before. In fact, her previous visit was one of our “Best Of Programs” for the year. And, uh, she’s a certified behavioral consultant, a Bible teacher, a speaker. Uh, she has authored 16 books…

Jim: (Laughter).

John: …And one of those addresses this head-on. It’s called 30 Days To Taming Your Fears: Practical Help For A More Peaceful and Productive Life.

Jim: Wow. Deborah, you’re a busy woman.

Deborah: I am busy.

Jim: (Laughter) Welcome to Focus.

Deborah: Thank you.

Jim: Welcome back, I should say.

Deborah: Thank you very much.

Jim: Hey, let’s get into it. Why does fear have such an impact on us? Why do we let it get ahold of us in the way it does? And it kind of takes us captive.

Deborah: Well, and it’s real. Let’s just start out by saying we probably will never be outside of its presence, and so we just have to understand that that fear is anticipating a loss and dreading something that may happen. And sometimes, it’s real, and sometimes it’s not real. But the point is we have to learn how to live with it, and we don’t have to be in – in bondage to it. I – I love what Goliath said, and I always say, “Goliath was right.” He said, “if you fight me and kill me, we’ll be your servants.” That’s what he said to the Israelites. And I always say, “You gotta imagine fear is a – a giant.” And so, Goliath has given you the secret to success on overcoming fear. He said, “If you fight me and kill me, we’ll be your servant.” In other words, if you overcome me, then the fear will serve you.

Jim: Yeah.

Deborah: He said, “But otherwise, if we prevail, then you’re gonna serve us.” And that’s what I found. If I fight it, resist it, overcome it, render it lifeless in my life…

Jim: Well, let’s give the listeners that background for you. As a little girl, did you have fear? Was this – you seem a – like a very confident woman, very accomplished woman.

Deborah: I – we don’t have to go back that far. I’m – I’m fearful right now.

(Laughter)

Jim: Come on.

Deborah: No.

Jim: But if you go back, what was happening in your childhood that gave you an awareness of fear?

Deborah: Probably just lack of exposure to a lot of things. But there were so many fears and let me just talk about a few. I grew up in a very, um, let’s say, verbally abusive home. And so, I was afraid I would grow up and marry the wrong man.

Jim: Yeah.

Deborah: Uh, and so that was a great fear. So, I was suspect of anybody that I met. It’s like, you’re probably gonna turn out to be very abusive, and I’m not gonna tolerate it. (Laughter)

Jim: Right.

Deborah: So that was a fear. But I think most of my fears are related to being safe.

Jim: But to do that – to achieve that, you’ve gotta be rooted in Christ and have that confidence that, even in my death, however that will happen…

Deborah: Yes.

Jim: …It will happen at some point. Nobody lives forever.

Deborah: Nobody lives forever.

Jim: Um, you know, when that happens, I need to be confident in my faith that God will be there to meet me on the other side.

Deborah: And we don’t live in fear that it may happen today, and I’m just going to – you know, I’m – I am really trying to – I mean, as I pass 65. (Laughter)

Jim: Don’t – don’t tell us.

John: You mean on the highway?

Deborah: Oh, right. Yeah. Right. On the…

Jim: You don’t look 65.

Deborah: I’m older than that.

(Laughter)

Deborah: But I thought, you know, nobody’s gonna live forever. So, one of the fears I talk about in the book is the fear of death. And I thought, well, if you prepare for it, and maybe that can begin to assuage some of the fears. A lot of times, it’s the unknown. Well, if I know for sure that I’m gonna spend eternity with God – but if I know for sure that I’ve left the – that my loved ones in good shape, you know, and I haven’t left chaos. And so, I think that’s one of the things you do when you’re trying to battle that fear of death.

Jim: Yeah. And that’s one of the core fears. We’re gonna get to those…

Deborah: Yeah.

Jim: …A little later. But I wanna talk about the basic definitions of the types of fear. In your book, you mention anxiety, fear itself and then full-blown phobia. Uh, for those that aren’t, uh, you know, studying these things, what are the distinctions?

Deborah: Well, let’s talk about anxiety because it is anticipating – anticipating a negative outcome.

Jim: Huh. One that hasn’t happened yet.

Deborah: So, it’s always future – hasn’t happened, may never happen…

Jim: Yeah.

Deborah: …Probably won’t, but it’s anticipating that. I have some dread. Because when you define fear generally as a dread of a loss, I’m anticipating that at some point, I’m gonna lose something. I told somebody the other day, “If you are afraid of getting on the elevator, just get on there and go one floor, and just walk back down.”

Jim: Yeah.

Deborah: So, here’s – here’s a good idea – a good, uh, example. I was coming here today, and let’s say that I have some anxiety about, I told you earlier, of giving the wrong Scripture. So that’s a mild anxiety that I’m thinking, OK, maybe if I give the wrong Scripture and that’s not the one that was in my head for that application or whatever. That’s a mild anxiety. I’m anticipating a negative outcome. And we don’t have to anticipate a negative outcome.

Jim: That’s true.

Deborah: But, you know, you can choose not to. Let me just interject this. I drive on the freeways a lot. And we moved to a new area where the people – the average speed on the freeway is like 85, 90.

Jim: That’s crazy.

Deborah: And I said, “This is crazy.” So – and I – I’m in the fast lane – the special lane, and I told my husband, “I just – I am so nervous doing that because I’m afraid a car will cut over in front of me.” And he says, “Well, why don’t you anticipate a car not doing that?”

(Laughter)

Jim: And let me read the newspaper while you’re driving me.

Deborah: Yeah. Okay, you know, so “Why don’t you just anticipate that everything’s gonna go fine?” I thought, well, that’s a novel idea. But we have to watch what we anticipate. That’s why the Bible says, “Don’t be anxious for anything.” Don’t anticipate a negative outcome. Why don’t you retrain your brain to think that this is going to be a positive outcome?

Jim: State patrolmen would probably say, “Hey, better to try to do the speed limit.”

Deborah: (Laughter).

Jim: But I’ll interject that one. You don’t have to do 90 necessarily.

Deborah: But as I relate it to the earthquake thing, I stop packing the bags by the door. But I do have clothes in the car because you need to have shoes and those kind of things, water. So that, you know…

Jim: See. That seems reasonable to me.

Deborah: See the balance. But you see I believe it’s the trick – we always say the trick of the enemy – to have us to go from one extreme to the other.

Jim: That’s – yeah.

Deborah: So, when I think going to that extreme where I check the bags every night and – I think that was extreme.

Jim: Now, where’s the phobia component come in? That’s anxiety. And you have normal fear. I think we pretty much understand what fear is.

Deborah: Right.

Jim: But what’s phobia?

Deborah: But phobia is an irrational fear. You know, I think the building is going to fall down on me.

Jim: When there’s no problem.

Deborah: Yeah, yeah. And it could just – you may have heard about something like that many years ago. In fact, many years ago, my dad was taking us on a trip to his mom’s house. And it was a creek. And there was a bridge over the creek. And the support fell down. And our car went into the water. But we weren’t in any danger. It didn’t even come up to the waist or whatever. But that was very scary. So even now, I think twice before I go over a bridge.

Jim: Yeah.

Deborah: But I don’t have the phobia where I won’t go over.

Jim: Yeah. You’ll find another way around.

Deborah: You see, because phobias hold you captive. And you just – I absolutely will not do that.

Jim: Yeah. Now, the five core fears – you touched on one, the fear of death. I think that’s pretty natural.

Deborah: That’s pretty natural.

Jim: Human beings have that fear of their life ending…

Deborah: Mm hmm.

Jim:  …And I get that.

Deborah: Right. Right.

Jim: What are the other four?

Deborah: Well, the fear of inadequacy.

Jim: Wow.

Deborah: Yes. Most people are afraid of public speaking, just fear of looking bad, all of that…

Jim: What about teenagers? I think of their life when it comes to inadequacy…

Deborah: Yes, and we don’t.

Jim: …because they’re full of inadequacy.

Deborah: And we don’t have to be inadequate. Well, first of all, I always say, first of all, acknowledge the fact that, in your own strength, you are – everybody’s inadequate.

Jim: Yeah.

Deborah: See. If you just – I said, “OK. I’m an adequate in my own strength. But with God, I can do all things.”

Jim: Yeah.

Deborah: And so – so that’s going to be my mindset. I need to just show up because the Scriptures talk about that, you know? Our sufficiency is from God.

Jim: So how did you learn that discipline to always come from that perspective, especially in times of stress? Because sometimes people forget, or they ignore leaning into God in that moment.

Deborah: You cannot afford to not lean into God. This is why the Word has to be foundational because we’re going to always have fears that present themselves either physically, relationally, emotionally or financial. It’s like a stool. It has a base and four legs. And so, the base is my core beliefs. So, I must always have these beliefs flow down and impact these areas of my life. And so, when I – I’m always analyzing myself. Where am I emotionally? Do I have these fears? Fear that somebody’s going to – I’m going to miss out on something. Or fear of looking bad. Or, financially, am I afraid that I’m going to not have enough? I’m going to grow old, and my money is not going to last long enough. I have to step back and say, “Is this lining up with the Word of God? What does the Word of God say about that?”

Jim: Yeah.

Deborah: ‘Cause that’s where our life is.

Jim: This is good – how to overcome fear. Your book, 30 Days To Taming Your Fears: Practical Help For A More Peaceful And Productive Life – full of great practical advice. And Deborah Pegues is our guest today on Focus on the Family. You have your hand up. (Laughter) What do you want to add?

Deborah: Well, the other fears – I want to run through the five fears.

Jim: Yeah, we’ll get back to those.

Deborah: OK. You want…

Jim: I was going to say, “OK. Now that we’ve re-identified…”

Deborah: OK.

Jim: “…Who you are…”

Deborah: OK.

Jim: “…What are the other fears?”

Deborah: Well, fear of loneliness – fear of loneliness – and so that includes the fear of rejection. And I have been in that space where I went along to get along or said yes when I wanted to say no because ultimately, I didn’t want to be alienated.

Jim: Uh-huh.

Deborah: And so, I became very dysfunctional in some of my relationships. I let people use my credit cards because I wanted them to know I was really nice. (Laughter)

Jim: I was going to ask you if I could borrow one of those.

(Laughter)

Jim: I’d like to get some lunch later.

Deborah: Yeah, yeah.

Jim: OK. So that – the idea of loneliness – what’s another one?

Deborah: Fear of losing control. You know, I just – and especially if you grew up in an environment that was chaotic, you tend to be controlling. It’s like, “I never want my life to be out of control like that. So, from now on, I’m going to make sure everything’s lined up.” And you just become a real bore.

John: Hey, Deborah, in regards to your own life and this journey through fear – I mean, you’re an expert because you’ve written a book about this, right? I’m smiling as I say that.

Deborah: I’m not an expert. I fight fear all the time.

John: What’s the journey been like? I mean, you sought the Lord once, twice, twenty-five times…

Deborah: All the time.

John: Talk about that process because, for a lot of us, this doesn’t happen overnight.

Deborah: It’s a daily thing. When the fear pops up, you have to be ready to combat the fear. And you have to declare the Word. You have to declare it. I find that faith comes by hearing. And so, when I’m fearful, I hear – I need to hear myself. I need to encourage myself. Yesterday when the plane was doing this little roller coaster thing…

Jim: (Laughter).

Deborah: …And I just said, “Lord, I want to thank You that You’ve given Your angels charge, responsibility over me to keep me in all my ways. And I just want to thank You in advance that we’re going to land at that airport intact. Nothing’s going to harm me, according to the Scriptures. His angels have been charged to take me in all my ways.”

John: Hmm.

Deborah: And so, I say that. Whatever the nature of the fear is, we need a Scripture to combat each them. And I’m really big on people committing those to memory not so that you can say, “I know this Scripture.” You need to know it for yourself. You need to declare it.

Jim: So, it’s top of mind.

Deborah: Always.

Jim: I mean, that’s the reason so you know the Word of God in the moment.

Deborah: I need to fill my mind with that.

Jim: Yeah.

Deborah: I need to fill my mind so that when I’m squeezed, when I’m pressured, that’s what comes out. We had a past that was so used to say, “Now, what happens when you squeeze a tube of certain toothpaste? And what comes out?” And we’d say, “Toothpaste.” And he said, “Nope. That’s not what comes out.” That particular toothpaste – he would name the brand. I don’t want to name the brand. He would – let’s just say it was called Crackerjack.

(Laughter)

Deborah: He said, “No, Crackerjack toothpaste comes out because whatever you put in you, that’s exactly what comes out of you when you are squeezed.”

Jim: What’s some of that spiritual financial advice you could give to those who do lack and that fear, you know, they fear that lack, whether they’re in an older age situation or they’re middle-aged and they’re saying, “I just don’t have enough to meet, uh, the need”? And that fear that can be all-consuming.

Deborah: I know. Here’s my key to not fearing lack of – in finances. Because I feel like I’ve insured myself against lack. How do I did – how did we do that? He says, “Give and it shall be given to you.” So, I – and we tithe. We tithe. We do the three levels of giving. We – we give tithes – 10 percent of our income. We’ve never – I am not kidding you. We have never not tithed in our 39 years of marriage. But because of that, I am very ornery when it looks like the enemy’s gonna take my money. I’m like, “Oh, no, you don’t. I’m insured against lack.” (Laughter). So, we – we tithe. We give offerings over and above our tithes. And we give alms. Those are, uh, good deeds you do for other people. And listen, there have been times we did that when it really didn’t work on paper for us to do it, but we said, “God, we are trusting You.”

Jim: Hmm.

Deborah: “We are trusting You.” And so, I always say, “I’m insured against lack.” God is gonna honor His Word. “Give and it will be given to you.” So, I have – I’ve been surrounded with all kinds of favors. We’ve been given trips around the world, across the world, just didn’t have to pay anything for it because we stand of that and expect that.

Jim: That’s amazing.

Deborah: So, my expectation…

Jim: Yeah.

Deborah: …Is that God’s gonna honor His Word.

Jim: But even if you didn’t get that you’d be OK, right?

Deborah: Oh, we’re gonna be OK because I don’t have to have an abundance stored up. I need to know – I need to believe that God is gonna provide for my daily needs.

Jim: Well, and I say that because it’s important not to give with expectation, really.

Deborah: Well, it’s – here’s the deal. You don’t give to get.

Jim: Right.

Deborah: But you give and expect God to honor His Word.

Jim: Right.

Deborah: So, it’s not like I gave you one, you gotta give me two.

Jim: Right.

Deborah: You just have the confidence of knowing that God has promised that, and He’s gonna honor that.

Jim: Well, that is good stuff. Uh, Deborah Pegues, author of the book 30 Days To Taming Your Fears. Um, this is an awesome resource, especially this idea of a 30-day, um, trial. Give it a go. See if it helps you.

Deborah: Give it a go.

Jim: See if it gives you peace, which is what God promises.

Deborah: Absolutely. I think…

Jim: Peace.

Deborah: I think we don’t realize that God doesn’t mind being put to the test.

Jim: That’s right.

Deborah: He doesn’t. And I – I like putting Him to the test.

Jim: He’s the God that says, “Test me.”

Deborah: He said, “Test me.” I’m like, “All righty then, let’s go.” (Laughter)

Jim: That is good. Deborah, so encouraging and so inspirational. I want to remind you, the listener, that Focus on the Family is here for you. We want, um, your relationship with the Lord to be strong and vibrant and healthy. Uh, we want you to trust Him and to live without the fear that we’ve been talking about today. And if you need more guidance in this area and you don’t know where to begin, we are here for you. Just call us. We have caring counselors. We have a PDF, a little download you can get called Coming Home, and it’s an article to help you take those first steps in trusting Jesus as your Savior. That’s where it really starts, right, Deborah?

Deborah: It starts there. That has to be the basics.

Jim: Yeah. And so, we would love to introduce you into a relationship with Christ if you’re not there yet. Um, again, the counselors are here. Uh, we want to send you, for a donation of any amount, uh, a copy of Deborah’s book 30 Days To Taming Your Fears. And that’s our way of saying, “Thank you.” So, take any of those actions that you need to take. And we are here in your corner.

John: We are a phone call away. Our number is 800-232-6459. Online you can find that PDF Jim mentioned, Coming Home and copies of Deborah’s book and a way to donate as well. focusonthefamily.com/broadcast. Well, on behalf of Jim Daly and the entire team here, thanks for listening to Focus on the Family today. I’m John Fuller inviting you back next time as we once more help you and your family thrive in Christ.

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