Stepping Out of the Culture of Fear
“Sir, you know this is a particularly dangerous neighborhood, right?” That’s how the conversation began several months ago when a young man came to our door. I usually like to be the first to answer the door, you know, just in case it’s a door to door sales person (or our local Jehovah’s Witness) in order to politely send them on their way. However, my kids got to the door first. So I was trapped. Tricked into having a conversation I really didn’t want to have. I was intrigued by his opening statement. Asked so confidently, ‘Sir, you know this is a particularly dangerous neighborhood, right?” I didn’t know that. In fact I thought it was a pretty safe neighborhood. We’ve lived in this neighborhood for five years and never felt unsafe; never seen or experienced anything that might cause us to feel unsafe; but the result of him asking that question subtly placed doubt in my mind.
‘Maybe we shouldn’t let our kids play out front or ride their bikes down the street?’
‘You, know I did see a suspicious car driving slowly down our street the other night.’
‘Well, maybe this neighborhood is a little more dangerous than we knew?’
Then the young man continued his pitch “Sir, our company can provide you with a top of the line home security system that will allow you to have piece of mind and ensure the safety of these sweet innocent kids right here.”
‘Sex sells’ we all know that to be true. We are inundated with sexual images attempting to sell us everything under the sun. But, I’m wondering if ‘fear’ isn’t right there with sex as a motivating factor in all types of sales and advertising. Have you noticed the increased use of fear to sell you products? Or to convince you to vote for a particular candidate? Or political party? The more fear is used as motivating factor in our national/international politics, and for consumer sales and advertising, the more the our culture becomes a culture of fear. And we, even as Christians, increasingly find ourselves feeling afraid. Yet, this kind of fear has no place in the life of one who follows Jesus.
So how can we step out of this culture of fear? Maybe it’s a simple as remembering what the Scriptures teach us? Here’s a few Scriptures to remember when you are tempted to indulge the culture of fear:
“Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love.”
(1 John 4:18 NLT-SE)
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.”
(2 Timothy 1:7 NLT-SE)
“And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love.”
(Romans 8:38 NLT-SE)
And, personally, I like to remember the end of the story. The promise that this life is not the end and that God will one day make right all that is broken and wrong…
“Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the old heaven and the old earth had disappeared. And the sea was also gone. And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven like a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.
I heard a loud shout from the throne, saying, “Look, God’s home is now among his people! He will live with them, and they will be his people. God himself will be with them. He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.”
And the one sitting on the throne said, “Look, I am making everything new!””
(Revelation 21:1–5 NLT-SE)
How will you step out of the culture of fear?
How has this culture impacted you?
What scriptures do you turn to in times of fear?
Can we covenant together not to buy into the culture of fear?
I’m praying for you, and me, and all of us….
Grace and Peace, Rich
So I know you’re wondering…’did he buy the home security system?’ No! And, unfortunately, I think I was a little rude to that young man…but he hasn’t been back.