Fear? Is it good or bad?

3 09 2010

Much of Christianity is rooted in fear these days.  Parents fear the world and try to protect their kids from everything which might be a negative influence on their children.  Preachers are afraid of what their congregation will think if they preach something “inappropriate or edgy.”  Seminaries are afraid to teach in new ways and forms meeting a post-modern Christianity while letting go of modern concepts.

This fear is rampant and everywhere in Christianity.  And yet, God does not want to us to be afraid.  Over and over again he begins his talks with the faith community by saying, “Do not be afraid.”  We have God’s spirit living inside of us to empower us over fear.

And yet…fear persists.

So is fear a good thing or a bad thing?  Ortberg writes, “In the Bible, we see a pattern in which God rrely sends people into situations where their comfort level is high.  Rather He promises to be with them in their fear.  It is God’s presence–not comfortable circumstances–that brings people to the best version of themselves” (116).

And yet…fear persists.

So is fear a good thing or a bad thing?  I think that fear is a great thing for Christians to have.  Only in that discomfort of fear does God have an opportunity to work.  Only in that uneasiness about the future does God have an opportunity to let his light shine and work in the person’s life to make them a better them.  God uses fear to build strength and character amongst his believers.

So families, when you fear for the world’s influence on your kids, be encouraged, God is right by your side.  So parents, when you think that you have no control over your kids and live in perpetual fear, be encouraged God is strengthening you.  Do you not think that you must withdraw from society and wait for the end times to come.  Instead engage the world, be a little afraid, but trust in the Lord to provide you that confidence you need in all situations.

Fear?  Its a good thing.  Only through fear can God provide comfort and move you to flow in his spirit more.

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