A Culture of Fear

We have all had times in our life when we were afraid if only on a tiny level. We may have been afraid of running out of gas in an unfamiliar part of town, or we may have been afraid of that bump we heard in the night. More and more though, we are living in a culture where fear has become a big and overwhelming issue.

Maybe you are struggling with fear today as well.

You may think using the phrase “a culture of fear” is a bit strong, but think about the folks around you. How many of them are ultra-sensitive about what other folks think? How many of them are defensive and become upset over tiny things? How many of them do not feel safe because of disasters like earthquakes, hurricanes, and tornados, or attacks like 911? How many of them have lost part of their 401K with the struggling economy? How many have lost a job?

People who have experienced abuse, disasters, or a loss of monetary security are often fearful. Many may not even recognize that what they are feeling is rooted in fear. Instead, they must just think or feel that they can’t do what they need to be doing. They may feel they cannot go on, or that they cannot start over. They may feel despair.

Ivan Pavlov did an experiment or a series of them where he rang a bell, and fed a dog. Eventually, when the dog heard the bell, the dog began to drool. I suspect much like Pavlov’s dog, we have become conditioned to experience fear when certain things happen. Because of a past event, it won’t take much to move us to respond in a way that we might not otherwise.

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
2 Timothy 1:7

We are not supposed to live in fear. Fear is not of God. The word “fear” in 2 Timothy 1:7 is from a Greek word meaning faithlessness. Simply put, fear is a lack of faith.

There is no point in being ultra-sensitive; we are supposed to please God not people.

For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.
Galatians 1:10

Where the rest is concerned, we need to trust in God to provide. If not, we need to remember what Paul wrote.

According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death. For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.
Philippians 1:20-21

LIFE APPLICATION

Today’s challenge is to identify your fears. Fear keeps you from living for God. It can hold you back, and it can make you fail. Instead, place your hope and trust in God to provide for you. He knows what you are going through. He knows the fears you have. If you are saved, whether here or called home, God has his hand on you. Go ahead. Turn your fears over to God. Then, live boldly for Him!

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