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What Fear Does To Us.

I’m tired of people spreading fear.

All the fear mongering is exhausting.

Fear mongering – the action of deliberately arousing public fear or alarm about a particular issue.

For someone who has anxiety and fights against being motivated by fear on a daily basis, I don’t need others bringing my attention to what else I need to be scared of.

Seeing so much rhetoric being rooted in fear just makes me tired. It makes me wonder why we so easily buy into it. It definitely makes me question Christians swift bout of amnesia about that whole “perfect love casts out fear” idea.

We so easily forget that the Bible we say we believe in also says things like, “God hasn’t given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” I don’t think we look very loving or of sound mind these days.

Because if you claim to follow Jesus, fear should never be your motivating factor. To buy into the mantra “make America safe again” is buying into fear, it’s allowing people in power to trump the truth that we should know (pun intended)…being motivated by fear is not living or loving.

This Is What Fear Does to Us…

It shuts us down. It paralyzes us. It makes us clench our fists instead of open our hands.

It makes us build walls and slam doors instead of making room at the table and remembering that everyone belongs. It ramps up our privilege and American exceptionalism to say, “Yeah…we deserve the best. We worked for this. We are entitled to this and no one else is.”

Fear moves us towards hate, towards lines in the sand against us and them, and towards pointing fingers. It moves us towards crossing the street when someone in need is hurt.

Fear loves this idea of other. It drives us away from each other. It gives a reason for why we don’t have to love others the way we love ourselves because “they are not like us.”

Fear removes personhood and humanity from people. Fear strips our ability to see the image of God in every person we come in contact with. You can’t truly believe everyone deserves to have their dignity affirmed if you’re so caught up in being scared of the other that you won’t engage with them.

It’s easy to buy into fear. It’s easy to get swept up in group think and think the way everyone else does. But are we really called to live an easy life?

Nothing easy is usually worth doing. It’s a lot harder to go against the grain, to love our enemies, to stand up for the poor and marginalized…to live a life that Jesus modeled.

Fear creates reactions and responses in us that basically go against everything Jesus talked about.

Fear makes us collapse into ourselves and look inward instead of outward. It cuts us off from generosity and empathy.

There’s no room for light to shine when fear is involved. Fear smothers the light and makes sure everything stays cloaked in darkness and shadows.

Outsmart Fear

It’s easy for me to talk about fear because I fight against that smothering feeling every day.

The world needs us to be smarter than the fear mongers. It needs us to remember we are global citizens and to think creatively for solutions that humanize people rather than dehumanize them.

When we are consumed by fear there is no room for love. There is no room for relationship or listening or grace. Fear escalates into hate and we aren’t supposed to be people of hate.

If you claim to follow Jesus, we need to remember that our only job is to love. And building walls and supporting any action that marginalizes a people group doesn’t look like love to me.

The very people Jesus says to pay attention to are the very people that are getting shamed, blamed, and bullied and when that happens that doesn’t look like any kind of gospel I’m familiar with.

I don’t intend for this to be a political post, but it’s hard for it not to be when that’s where a lot of fear mongering is coming from. But I’ve also heard pastors preach fear from the pulpit and you hear it from the media every day. The people that try to tell you you’re not safe are often times the ones trying to make you afraid of something in the first place.

Instilling fear in people is a great way to control and manipulate – so unfortunately it can come from anyone in a position of power.

All politics aside and just for the sake of humanity really…regardless of who you identify with politically, remember that our identity isn’t in Republican or Democrat, American or not American, documented or undocumented or fill in the blank…we need to be working towards a WORLD that is about loving each other, creating space for things to be the way they should be – where there is room for everyone, where justice prevails, where grace and mercy triumph and where there is love, love and more love.

I desire to see a world where fear doesn’t prevail because love does. Love drives out fear.

 

Where-Fear-Does-Not-Prevail

4 thoughts on “What Fear Does To Us.

  1. OUTSTANDING!! Thank you so much for writing it, these are beautiful, prophetic and necessary words for these times. In my own life, I can see how fear only leads me to terrible decisions. How much worse when we come together in fear as communities and countries? I hope that this post reaches lots more people and that you are able to share this message with people in your own community – it needs to be heard.

  2. Abby! So good. Thank you! I needed to hear this. I’ve been swerving in and out of the fear lane for several months as I’ve battled chronic illness. I know God’s good and He does calm my heart, but there are times where I freak out and kind of forget His promises.

    1. Thanks so much for reading Emily! I totally understand swerving in and out of the fear lane. Know that you’re not alone. I’m happy we’ve connected! Prayers for you as you battle this illness.

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