Summary: What should Christians be afraid of.
What are you afraid of?
Being a man I hate to admit that I might be afraid of any thing. So my first reaction to talking about fear is to tap into my childhood. My physical childhood, I still am mentally child like.
I was probably afraid of the dark, and lots of other normal things growing up. To day I am not really talking about normal fear. Normal fear is a God given response to things that are dangerous. Things that can hurt you or other people. Fear is one of the many natural things that God has designed into people and animals.
Now there are some other fears that come from a trained response basically form experience. And for many people these can move from healthy fears to phobias.
One of the things that I remember as my biggest fear, a thing, a statement that would cause an instant fear response and immediately freeze me in my tracks. One phrase that turned me into a begging, groveling, crying mess was,” Wait until your daddy comes home!”
Later, in school, There was another phrase that did not have the same outward impact on me was, “Take out a blank piece of paper and a pencil.”
To be more open, now as a grown up I tend to be afraid of a lot more things, experience is a good teacher.
When the phone ringing late at night. Not really the phone but the potential conversation. I fear the bills, taxes, youth lock-ins, and traffic around Atlanta.
So, what are you afraid of? SLIDE - to Death and then Fear slide
The list of natural fears is seemingly endless.
I found a list of Phobias – Fears that were listed on the internet. That I thought were interesting and many were strange: ( could not pronounce the medical names so I am just going to give the definition)
Fear of failure – got it
fear of fire - Some
Fear of dancing – sorta got it
Fear of plants – Definitely not
fear of sleep – Don’t have it at all
Fear of dust. – Safe there
Fear of walking. – Still OK
Fear of looking up. – Maybe a little now I mention it.
Fear of peanut butter sticking to the roof of the mouth - No
Fear of opening one's eyes. - No
Fear of bald people – a little
Fear of Work – I got it pretty bad
Fear of one's own fears – That one bothers me….
Fear of getting wrinkles - No
fear of growing old - Yes
There are over 500 medically defined fears. They are defined to help psychiatrist and councilors to help people to identify a person’s phobias.
-- My definition of a phobia is a fear on steroids…. when something becomes a phobia, it means we have let our healthy fear that protects our lives, become something that keeps us from living.
However we are not talking about dealing with phobias this morning.
We are limiting our thoughts to dealing with normal fear.
Several years ago Columnist Dave Barry wrote "All of us are born with a set of instinctive fears--of falling, of the dark, of lobsters, of falling on lobsters in the dark, or speaking before a Rotary Club, and of the words "Some Assembly Required."
I tend to agree that everyone has a set of fears that cause a reaction in us and we don’t seem to be able to just decide not to fear.
I believe, fear will always be with us, it’s one of the base emotions along with hunger, love and hate, and it’s not just limited to the human animal but is instinctive and is included throughout the animal kingdom. I think that you could say that fear is a gift from God, because it keeps us alive.
For most of us fear plays a part in the way we do things everyday. It may be in how we act around other people- so they don’t just kill us.
It may be the way we drive and how we use power tools – safety first.
It influences us on the places we shop and the friends we have – we want to feel safe. Every part of our life can be influenced by how we deal with FEAR.
The general point is that fear is part of our survival instinct. We need fear to make us feel uncomfortable in certain situations so we will get out of them. Fear is not unnatural or unhealthy.
The Bible talks about fear, the word fear is mentioned 266 times and the word afraid is mentioned 223 times. ( I love electronic Bible resources.)
Let me read all those to you now.
(Just kidding ) If you were afraid that I would that is called “sophophobia,” (sofo-phobia) - the fear of learning or knowledge.