It’s Hip To Be Scared

I’m not sure if you’re up on your current events, but there’s a lot of fear-mongering going on; what I’d call “alarmism” is rampant in the media these days.

And I don’t think its totally unwarranted, but I’m beginning to believe that just as the tried-and-true advertising adage goes, “Sex sells”, the world of mass media just might be coming on strong with their own mantra: “Fear sells”. Pirates, pandemics, and policy. Not too much to get warm and cozy with there. And these are the things that are the flavors of the day lately.

And fear doesn’t lead anywhere good. But unless you choose to go underground, you’re susceptible to those sinking thoughts and a sinking stomach when you give too much heed to the loud, blasting siren of our society’s alarmist blare.

Its been said that fear is the most primal of human emotions. I’d disagree. I think its more frequent, but not most primal. And as a follower of Jesus, how do I take my surroundings in stride and not lose my mind to the crippling power of fear? Here are just a few quick thoughts:

1. Remember that fear and good judgment aren’t friends.
Now this one has nothing to do with spiritual matters. This one is just basic human behavior. When we’re scared, we typically don’t act rationally.

2. Fear and the anxiety it brings about is a broken, unproductive way to live.
Consider your emotions as employees in your company. Fear has been harassing all the other employees, throwing wrenches in the cogs, and slowing down healthy production for way too long. I’ve never seen anxiety work. I’ve never heard anyone ever say, “Man am I glad I got stressed out over that. That was well worth the energy I spent getting nowhere.”

3. Fear is offensive to God.
Imagine God’s perspective. How weak do you think He is? The amount of fear in your life is the answer to that question.

4. Fear saps power.
As a young boy, I remember laying in my bed at night afraid to go to sleep. I had been having a recurring dream that a witch was chasing me. Yep, a witch. Long pointy hat, long pointy nose, the whole nine yards. Silly to think about it now, but as a kid there was a short time when I didn’t want to sleep. Until one night before falling asleep, I decided that if I had that dream again, I was going to stand up to the witch and tell her to leave me alone. Imagine that, I had a plan for how to handle a witch before I even fell asleep. Crazy, huh? And you know what? I fell asleep, the witch came, and I stopped running, turned to her, and said loudly, “Leave me alone!” That witch turned and walked away and she hasn’t been heard from since.

What part does fear play in your life? In your walk with Jesus? In your workplace? In your marriage? In your friendships?

Comments on my blog are few and far between, but I’d like to know your thoughts (whoever you are) on fear and anxiety. All opinions welcome.

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