This is Pastor Tim’s article published in the Evening Leader on Monday, May 24, 2021
While out running earlier this morning, my mind was wandering about what to write on this week. A bible verse came to my mind that I would like to share with you now. It is 2 Timothy 1:7. For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.
To say that the past 15 months has been filled with fear would be a catastrophic understatement. There was the obvious fear of the virus, and that lead to fears about jobs and what the future would look like. Many people have been afraid for a whole lot of reasons, and we are not in the clear yet. As jobs start to return and the economy starts to rebound, there will be inflation. Inflation means that what a dollar will buy you in the future would only cost you 80 cents today. The value of the dollar is decreasing and you can purchase less than what you could purchase yesterday with that same dollar. This among other things means there is a lot to be afraid of in our world today.
The question that kept going through my mind this morning was, just because there is much to fear, does that mean we MUST be afraid? The verse from 2 Timothy 1:7 says that fear does not come from God, and I truly believe that. God has no desire for His faithful followers to live their lives in fear. It doesn’t mean that by living in His will everything will always work out for you. What it does mean though is that if you are living into God’s calling for you, you will steadily be moving closer and closer to Him. In the presence of God, there is no fear. Even if there are things to be afraid of, there is no fear.
Our world was created to thrive in balance. I ask you, what is the flip side of fear? Is it being reckless? I don’t think so. Caution and fear are not the same thing. To be wild and impulsive does not display bravery, it displays stupidity. Being reckless can be dangerous not only to you but also to the people who are counting on you.
I also think that living in fear is not a Godly way to live. God calls us to be wise and cautious, but He does not call us to cower in fear no matter how powerful the enemy happens to be. No matter how hard we try, we will never remove the element of risk from living. That is true not only for us, but it is also true for our children. We have a responsibility to protect our children even though we can’t shield them from everything. We need to manage our own fear in a healthy way so that we can help the next generation know the difference between being cautious and being fearful. Being cautious is good, but living life in a constant state of fear is in no way good.
Right or wrong, no matter what side of this issue you are on, we just spent over a year hiding from the Coronavirus. We covered our faces in public and we cancelled everything. We took a cautious approach to the virus, so now we need to take an intentional approach to returning to life. We can’t cower down forever. Everyone needs to assess his or her own risk. My prayer for you is that you make your decision about how to approach your life based on something other than fear.
As much as we would all agree that to go through life recklessly is not a good thing to do, I am concerned that far fewer of us realize that it is equally dangerous to go through life fearful. Please use good sense in your decision-making. That goes for both the reckless as well as the fearful among us. We have all been conditioned to be afraid of everything, but I don’t want us to continue to approach life with an overwhelming sense of fear anymore. Being afraid is so limiting and takes so many wonderful opportunities off of the table. Most of the things in my life I am the most thankful for now are things I was scared to death to do at first.
Don’t allow your life to be limited by fear. Use good sense in all things, but also don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone. You may realize once you take the risk that the horizons of your life aren’t as close together as you had once suspected. Fear is such a debilitating and limiting way to live. Don’t allow fear to become the controlling factor in your life.