The Fear Factor

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.

Published in: on 09/19/2010 at 7:41 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Worry and Faith II

In my meanderings I found this article on worry, How to Calm Your Anxiety, Stress, and Worry.

In this article Allia Nolan Zobel sets out ten ways to calm down your worry and stress. My favorite (and MY biggest problem) is  Let There Be No Crisis Before Its Time.  Zobel’s suggestions are very practical and lack the sanctimony that some articles bring to the table. Enjoy!

Published in: on 04/21/2010 at 11:34 am  Leave a Comment  
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Worry and Faith

“If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers—most of which are never even seen—don’t you think he’ll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you? What I’m trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God’s giving. People who don’t know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.

“Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.

Matthew 6:30-34  The Message

There are times that I really struggle with worry. I am a worrier. I have found that I worry even when there’s nothing to worry about. I’m hooked on worry. It’s somewhat my drug of choice. If there were an Olympics of worry, I’d get the Gold. Mostly, I worry about things that are essentially out of my control. I also try to figure out how to solve the problem, even when it may not be my problem to solve.  However, there is a big down side. Worry robs my sleep, my peace and my joy. At times, it also stops me from performing other tasks in my life, thereby producing more problems to worry about.

I used to believe that the issue was a lack of faith (another worry). If I just had more faith, then the worry would go away. I’m not so sure of that now. I do believe that God will see me through whatever problem that arises, I just don’t want the hassle of going through it. I know He’ll be there,  it’s the dread of the possible pain and upset that I fear. That’s where I fall down. What I should be doing is concentrating on Jesus. That’s even when the dread disappears. when Peter walked on water, he fell in when he concentrated on where he was rather than Who was with him.

Published in: on 04/18/2010 at 4:51 pm  Leave a Comment  
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