I think it was President Franklin Roosevelt that said, "the only thing we have to fear is fear itself."
As we approach this coming year as a church family - I must say that "the only thing we have to fear is fear itself."
Fear will hinder us.
Fear will slow us down.
Fear will cause us to be less than we can be.
Times of transition can cause us to fear the loss of control, things aren't as they normally should be.
God's word says, "God has not give us a spirit of fear, but of peace and love and of a sound mind." (2 timothy 1:7).
What is fear? Fear is really the desire to avoid pain. It's the avoidance of pain. Sometimes, if not most of the time, the fear of a situation or circumstance, can be more debilitating than the circumstance itself.
And yes, fear can cause us to do things we would not normally do otherwise.
In his book "Fearless", Max Lucado writes about the power fear possesses to turn us into beastly people:
[Fear] turns us into control freaks … [for] … fear, at its center, is a perceived loss of control.
When life spins wildly, we grab for a component of life we can manage:
our diet, the tidiness of our home, the armrest of a plane, or, in many cases, people.
The more insecure we feel, the meaner we become. We growl and bare our fangs. Why? Because we are bad? In part. But also because we feel cornered.
Martin Niemöller documents an extreme example of this. He was a German pastor who took a heroic stand against Adolf Hitler. When he first met the dictator in 1933, Niemöller stood at the back of the room and listened.
Later, when his wife asked him what he'd learned, he said, "I discovered that Herr Hitler is a terribly frightened man." Fear releases the tyrant within.
As we walk through this transitional year together, let's remember what I am writing here. Let's remember to walk in love, peace and forgiveness.
And let's remember that God is in control.