The Fear Factor: A Good Thing Turned Bad


Why do we habitually replace the fear of God in our decisions with the fear of one another?

The fear of people is a dangerous trap, but to trust the Lord means safety (Proverbs 29:25 NLT).

Throughout the Old and New Testament, the fear of God and fear of man are placed at the extremes of good and evil. We are called to hold God in life-giving, reverent awe as the ultimate source and judge of our self-worth and security.

Jesus poses the core question regarding the right use of the gift of fear when he tells his followers “I tell you my friends, do not be afraid of those who can kill your body and after that can do no more. But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who can, after killing your body has the power to throw you into hell. Yes I tell you fear him”  (Luke 12: 4-5).

Why do we habitually replace fear of God in our decisions with the fear of one another? The answer is old and fundamental to man’s fallen state: we really don’t trust God and His promises as a secure and sufficient source of unconditional love and safety from harm!

Points to Ponder:

Suppose we bowed our heads and bent our knees to an all loving and sufficient Savior and surrendered our fears to his care.

What would the world be like if the Golden Rule replaced the Toxic Rule of “Fear thy Neighbor” that steals the joy from our lives that God designed us to enjoy to His Glory?

Suppose we each took one step a day away from fear and towards trust? What would our mutual life journey and relationships be like?

What impact would embracing the following promise from God’s Word have on the way you respond to fear?

What is one step you can take today to reduce the power of fear in your life?

What is your prayer?

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:6-7).

Written by Phil Hodges

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