Tuesday, April 16

More About Fear

This is the continuation of the essay started below. Forgive the poor composition. I don’t have time to think through it more thoroughly. Comments are welcome, spelling, grammer corrections, also welcome.

Fear is an emotion that feeds off the intesity of our desires, and is dependant of how much and who or what we trust. When the disciples ran to Christ on the ship, they were afraid because they valued their lives and did not want to loose it, yet they did not trust Christ to protect them.

Fear isn’t intrinsically bad. It is a valuable indicator of more serious problems. Without fear, we would not know when to be cautious. Fear often indicates when we are approaching our limits. Physiologically, fear puts out bodies on alert, preparing us to respond to high stress situations. But fear should never be in control.

In 2 Timothy 1:7, Paul indicates the proper place and the proper methods for controlling and using fear. Remember I said fear is dependent of how much and who or what we trust, as well as who and what we value. The disciples were controlled by their fear because they valued something they could loose, and because they did not trust in something they believed could keep it. Had they not cared about their life or if they had trusted Christ was able to keep them from death, they would not have been afraid.

As Christians, who should not be ruled by fear, ie having a spirit of fear, we should instead live being ruled by thee three aspects of the Spirit we do have.

The first spirit Paul says we have, is one of power. Why does power cast out fear? Well, fear can only exist when we believe there is a real chance of loosing something we value, or failing something we wish to achieve. If we believe we are powerless to prevent that loss or failure, then we may very well feel afraid. Yet a Christian knows that he has a Spirit of Power, one that is able to keep those things we have committed unto it. So knowing that we have the means to keep what we value, or to accomplish what we desire is reason not to fear. We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us.

The second Spirit Paul says we have is one of Love. Love is important, because it provides the motivation for what we should desire. When we desire things that God desires for us, we have not need to fear loosing them, for God is well able to keep and provide and secure them for us. Without the proper motivation, we can have no confidence in the Spirit of Power we have been given.

And the third Spirit Paul says we have is one of Soundess of Mind. Some fears are irrational. In fact, most of the wrong kinds of fears are irrational. A sound mind provides us with the method we use to combat those fears, acknowledging the power of God to keep whose things we have committed to Him against that day, and seeking out of love those things God desires for us, we should have no need to fear anything.



  1. Jason, I appreciate this post. I especially appreciate how you base it on scripture.

    A couple verses that’ve meant a lot to me lately relate to some aspects of this.

    Isaiah 41:10 – "Fear not, for I am with you. Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand."

    Jeremiah 29:11 – "I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord. Plans for wholeness, and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope."

    The first deals more specifically with fear. If God is our God, there is no reason for dismay. He has promised to uphold. And, he knows his plans for us. One application of this one in my own life is not fearing the future (post-college), because whatever happens and whatever path God leads me on in my life, I know it will serve his purposes and bring him glory. "… a future and a hope."

    It’s exciting, isn’t it?

  2. I’ve discovered that most of the Christian life is about learning to modify both how we think and what we desire. When it all comes down to basics, every conflict and every problem we face as a society is based on self. And at the very core of Christianity, every directive and command, every exhortation we’ve been given are simply derivatives of Love and Humility.