Pastor's Corner

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You and Your Fear

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God created all of humanity with a wide range of emotions; love, hate, anger, compassion, sympathy, and so on. These emotions are driven by our experiences, circumstances, relationships, and what is circling in our heads. Let’s look at one of these emotions which is a topic of current conversations.

Fear is an emotion which is often confusing and misunderstood. Some call it a weakness, and it is a mocked characteristic. Others play on our fears, encouraging them and using our fears to take advantage of us. Advertisers and the media do this as a common tactic to stir us up or to sell us something. The truth is fear can be our enemy, or it can be our ally in living life. Fear can keep us from doing things we should be doing, or moving on in life in ways which would be better for us. But fear can also keep us from making foolish decisions or taking foolish action as well.

When fear is our enemy, it haunts us with irrational thoughts of things or events which will never likely take place. Can you remember your childhood fear of the monster under the bed, or in the closet? This fear wraps up our hearts with what feel like uncontrollable emotions, or feelings of paranoia, and can cause us to literally seize up. In times like this we are no longer thinking or acting rationally or in accordance with reality. And if allowed to continue, our lives can come to a complete stop.

When fear is our ally, it is based in reality and upon an actual need to be afraid. It is this fear we should pay attention to and act accordingly. The electrician has a healthy fear of electricity, the surfer has a healthy fear of the ocean, and these healthy fears enable us to act appropriately in connection to these powerful forces. In fact, the first and foremost healthy fear we should all have, is of God. Like all powerful forces, we should have a healthy respect for who God is and what He is capable of doing – and act accordingly.

Proverbs 1:7 “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; Fools despise wisdom and instruction.”

If we are going to use fear as an ally, we must recognize the difference between healthy and unhealthy fear, rational and irrational fear. The thing we fear must be based in reality, not some abstract imagination gone wild. When this is the case, our healthy fear should lead us to make productive plans on how we will deal with possible problems and threats to what we are trying to accomplish. We consider what could go wrong, or what could come against us, and we act accordingly to prevent these things from getting in our way.

In the end when we have made our productive plans, and have set out with an appropriate course of actions, we must trust God all along the way and not give in to our unhealthy fears. 

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