I embarked on a conversation with a friend of mine this morning over the topic of fear. Basically, the comment my friend made stated that fear is not real, but rather a product of your thoughts. . .
Is fear real? I personally think yes! Now, I believe that the comment my friend was making was more to the effect that we have many things in our lives which cause us to fear, and much of that fear is irrational. But I think we have to put fear into its proper place with the reality that it is a part of our lives. Interestingly, there is no other command given in Scripture as often as the command, Fear not!
So I want to share briefly my thoughts on fear that I gathered from this day. First, fear can be healthy. If a large bear was running full speed at me and I decided that fear was unreal and I need to have faith and think positive thoughts or something, would that save me from the bear? No! Rather, fear itself would cause me to reason and hopefully give me some exit strategy from the oncoming bear.
Second, fear can lead us to wisdom and it honors God in its right place. Proverbs 9:10 says that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. When it comes to God, we should have a godly fear! After all, the Scripture says the mountains quake before him and the hills melt away.
Third, fear can be unhealthy, but so can anything! As Christians, it’s good for us to understand this, as we tend to go to one extreme or the other. Love for example can be good, great even. If we have love for our spouse, that’s good, love for God, that’s great. Yet, if we love money, or immorality, or something else that is ultimately to our demise then love itself has just become the vehicle by which we go the wrong direction. So it is with fear, we have to discern when it’s healthy to fear, and when it’s irrational. The fear itself can become an idol! It can cause us to worry, it can cause us to become immobile. The grace of God has helped us though to overcome fear! And God wants to heal us of this, and His desire is that we become whole, not only spiritually, but also in our emotions!