Listen to the news for even a short time and you’ll hear a long list of things that we are told that we need to fear. Crime, the economy, politicians, job loss, Muslims,al Qaida, and oh, did I mention the economy? While many items on the list are things that we should be aware of and in some cases even concerned about, fear is not the correct response.
Fear is actually a very complex set of psychological and physiological responses. God designed fear for the times when your life is in immediate danger. Say, when you are being chased by a wild animal, or you’re trying to avoid being hit by a car, or even trying not to hit someone with your car. Fear causes what is known as the “fight or flight” reaction. You brain tells your body of immediate, life threatening danger, your body responds by dumping adrenaline into your blood stream. Adrenaline causes your heart rate to go up, your mouth to turn dry, and a whole bunch of other reactions that help your body escape (or minimize) physical harm. Being in a constant state of fear is detrimental to your health. Without going into all of the gory details, being in constant fear causes your blood pressure to rise and can contribute to heart attack and stroke.
Fear also gets your attention and keeps it until it goes away. When you are fearful, the threat is the only thing that you will pay attention to. Consider if your car starts to skid, you’re certainly not going to pay attention to what is playing on the radio!
It’s the attention getting function that politicians, pundits, and the media like about fear. It seems that the more frightened and fearful you become, the more that you listen to their message. Since, September 11,2001 the fear factor has been in full swing. By getting us to be fearful, both Liberals and Conservatives have grabbed our attention and made us afraid. Afraid of another attack, the other side, al Qaida, the Taliban, Islam, and whatever else they can think of. Fear boosts their ratings, it drives elections, and gives pundits something to talk about where no knowledge is required.
What is disturbing to me is the amount of people, who claim to be Christian, who fall into the fear trap. The amount of confessing Christians who are convinced that some sort of tragedy will occur if the wrong person is elected, if a particular bill is or isn’t passed. One thing that I have noticed is the number of Christians who are fearful of what is occurring. In any case, fear is not the correct reaction for a Christian. We are told in the Bible that we are more than conquerors and yet we act with fear. It astounds me that the same people who will post Bible verse after Bible verse will also talk about how we should be fearful of whatever political circumstance happens by. For those who are Christians, don’t let the spirit of fear influence your life.