The Place of Fear

Image Source: Lane Smith

Human beings are fascinated with fear. This is why horror stories and shows like Fear Factor are so popular.

As Christians, we tend to think of being fearful as wrong or even sinful.

However, from personal experience, we know that fear is not necessarily a bad thing...

Fear of getting burnt prevents a child from touching the stove.
Fear of death prevents us from walking too close to a dangerous cliff face.
Fear of theft ensures that we lock our doors at night.

Fear in and of itself is not necessarily a bad thing.

On the other hand, if we let ourselves be overwhelmed by our fear then we become too anxious to try new things; too scared to leave the house.

I recently heard an analogy that helps us understand the rightful place of fear in our lives...

If we think of our lives as a car, we need to be very aware of who we let take the wheel (Cue the lame Jesus take the wheel joke).

There is no problem with having fear in the car with us, but we should not let fear take the wheel lest our lives become dominated by it. On the other hand, if we put fear in the back seat, we still bring our fear along for the ride but we reserve the right to listen to fear and learn from it while still being in control of making the final decisions.

The popular worship song describes it best with the following words:
"I'm no longer a slave to fear..." 

There is nothing wrong with being afraid. However, as children of God, we no longer have to be slaves to our fears. We are ultimately in control of who or what guides our decisions.

"Now you are no longer a slave but God's own child."
- Galatians 4:7a (NLT)

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