A little boy had a part in a school play in which he had only one small line. That line was simple: “It is I, be not afraid.” That’s all he had to say. He came out and said instead, “It’s me and I’m scared!” Fear is a common emotion. Paul testified on at least two occasions of his struggle with fear: 2 Corinthians 7:5 “For even when we came into Macedonia, our bodies had no rest, but we were afflicted at every turn—fighting without and fear within.” And again in 1 Corinthians 2:3 “And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling.” Paul afraid? Yeah, it’s normal.
Fear can be debilitating. Let me clarify, fear is often normal and even healthy. Getting ready to jump from an airplane at 15,000 feet should be scary (even with a parachute). I’m talking about the kind of fear that paralyzes us. Unsettled fear that causes us to not do the right thing, or make decisions that we know are in violation of God’s commands. That kind of fear is devastating.
This kind of fear can bring physical symptoms such as increased heart rate, high blood pressure, shortness of breath, panic attacks, depression, fatigue and even headaches. Fear can impact our behavior. We can become controlling, intolerant, critical, and even hurtful toward others. We can become frozen, like a deer in the headlights, unable to move or make progress in our lives all because of fear.
In his book, When People are Big and God is Small, Ed Welch helps us understand fear in its proper context (Remember all fear is not bad):
“Fear” in the biblical sense… includes being afraid of someone, but it extends to holding someone in awe, being controlled or mastered by people, worshipping other people, putting your trust in people, or needing people.”
“The fear of man can be summarized this way: We replace God with people. Instead of a biblically guided fear of the Lord, we fear others.”
In our text for Sunday, Luke 12:1-12, we are going to be addressing this very thing.
See You Sunday,