Taking Your Fears to GodBy Bob Lepine
June 14, 2021
Can you think of a time this week when you have found yourself fearful or anxious? It shouldn’t be a surprise. There are a lot of people in our day who are earning a good living by stirring up anxiety. People have figured out how to monetize fear. Making us anxious has become a multi-billion-dollar industry.
We are naturally fearful people. Whether it’s a fear of heights, of public speaking, of spiders and snakes, claustrophobia, aerophobia (fear of flying) mysophobia (a fear of germs) or agoraphobia (a fear of being alone), every one of us has certain things that make us afraid.
Fear can be a good thing. We live in a dangerous world. We should have a healthy fear of electricity, for example. We should be careful around spiders and snakes, since some varieties of venom can be deadly.
But problems happen when we move from being appropriately aware of and concerned about legitimate dangers we face to becoming overly concerned about things that are unlikely to bring us any real harm. In other words, we go from what can be a healthy fear to what the Bible calls “a spirit of fear.”
That phrase shows up in 2 Timothy 1, where the Apostle Paul is challenging his young protégé to embrace his assignment as a minister of the gospel. With his mentor sitting in a Roman prison facing execution for proclaiming Christ, it’s understandable that Timothy might be feeling reticent to speak up. “God has not given you a spirit of fear,” he says. Be bold, Timothy!