Sermon Illustrations

Our family dog Happy is a big baby! For such a big dog, she is afraid of some of the silliest and smallest things. Recently my wife and I were at the store and our two year son Sebastian saw a toy that he just had to have.

It is a plastic ball that has little raised numbers and farm animals on it that can be pushed down. Some of them make noise and others make it sing songs. If you place the ball on the floor it has a thing inside of it to make it roll on its own. It is a lot of fun for a toddler and apparently it is very frightening to a Saint Bernard!

Sebastian was playing with this ball. He was throwing it and kicking it and then chasing it. Meanwhile every time the ball would roll near Happy the Saint Bernard, her eyes would get really big and she would flop her big body away from where the ball was.

Apparently there is something inside of this ball which is very dangerous to a Saint Bernard which the rest of us are unaware of! Or at least that is what my dog Happy perceives about the ball.

Even though the ball is perfectly safe to her and can do nothing really to harm her, Happy is afraid of the ball because of her perceptions and misunderstandings about it. Though the ball is harmless and can not hurt her, she is afraid because she is convinced that it will, in fact, cause her harm.

Happy’s problem is not the ball. Her problem is fear, which is caused by a false perception of the world around her. Her fear is unfounded, but she is convinced of her irrational fears.

How often are we just the same way? How often do people fear something simply because they don’t understand it?

In I John 4:18, the bible says that perfect love – the love of Christ which is in us – casts out fear. We have no need to live in fear of things simply because we do not understand them.

As believers, let us be unafraid to investigate the truth of a matter so that armed with the love of Christ and the truth… we can live free from fear and misunderstanding.