Fear Controls Us
Whether we will admit it or not, one of the strongest emotions controls us more than we realize. Many things we do every day are done by routine. Things are so routine that we do not take the time to realize that fear guides them all. We even have the fear of changing our routine, lest something unexpected happens to us.
If we are fortunate to have a job, fear motivates us in doing that job well. The fear of losing that job, and the money or benefits that come from that job causes us to be careful not to lose that job.
We all have a fear of making mistakes. Mistakes can be costly on the job, in the home, or on the playing field.
On the job, a mistake could cost you and the company time and money to correct the problem, and if the problem is bad enough, you could get terminated from that job.
A mistake in the home can cause grief to others. That may mean you sleep on the couch tonight, or it could mean you seemingly try to walk on eggshells because you do not want to say the wrong thing to someone who may get very emotional. A mistake in the marriage could cost you the marriage.
If you make a mistake on the playing field, you and your teammates suffer loss of some sort. Sometimes we hear of a pitcher making a mistake. Such mistake allowed the opposing team to score. Another player makes a mistake, and is charged with an error. This also results in giving an advantage to the opposition. We are fearful of letting our teammates down, so we try hard to avoid mistakes.
Spiritually speaking, we should fear making a mistake. This has the greatest consequence of all; the potential to lose our soul forever. In such case, a fear of making a mistake is a good thing. But let us also realize that fear controls us more than anything else. There is an emotion that should be stronger and greater, but we do not act as if it is. While love is that emotion that causes us to serve God with a willing heart, the reality of the matter is that we are afraid of hell and eternal damnation.
Many people obey the gospel because they were taught that they are lost, and hell is a horrible place to spend eternity. Our obedience to the gospel should be because we see the great love God and Jesus had for us and were willing to make the sacrifice to help us get to heaven.
The Bible has the command to "fear not", "do not be afraid", "do not fear", "do not fret", and I am sure that "do not be anxious" is included in this list. I read recently that such a command is issued 365 times in the Bible. That is enough for one "do not fear" for each day of the year. The reason this command is issued so often should tell us that we need to learn to put our trust in God. Romans 8:1 teaches us that there is no condemnation in Christ. We are taught that as long as we serve God faithfully, we have a reservation in heaven. We should go to church because we want to worship God, and not because we are afraid of going to hell if we forsake the assembly. We should want to assemble with the saints because we want to be edified, or have the opportunity to edify others, and not do it because we might lose our soul if we do not do it.
Realize also that fear keeps us from sharing the gospel message with others. We are afraid of rejection. We are afraid of the potential for persecution. We are afraid that people will make fun of us. Don't you see that fear motivates us to not do what God wants us to do?
Fear prevents us from letting our light shine. We are afraid that people will consider us peculiar or weird. We just cannot handle any chance that someone will make fun of us and call us names. We just want others to obey God and learn to reverentially fear Him, but our fear causes us to hold our tongue.
Fear causes us to blend into our society and culture because we are afraid of losing friends. Perhaps this is one fear that we should pay attention to. For many Christians who have Christian friends, that is a good thing to hold on to. Yet many do not have Christian friends, and their closest friends are not spiritually minded. The Bible has warning to not associate with non-Christians unless you are willing to teach them. Sadly though, fear prevents us from teaching them, and we usually end up allowing them to influence us to do things God is not pleased with. Examine your fear, and try to put your trust in God.
By Carey Scott
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