The late advice columnist Ann Landers use to receive something like 10,000 letters a month. When asked what seemed to be the most common topic, she answered that most people seem to be afraid of something. They are afraid of losing their health, their job, or their family. They are afraid of upsetting a neighbor, alienating a friend, or committing a social false step. Many are even afraid when there is no reason to be afraid. Ours is a world of fearful people.
Spiritually speaking, many are afraid as well – and this is the worst kind of fear of all. Many times we allow fear to hinder or stop the efforts we ought to be involved in for the Lord. Many times we are afraid to say what needs to be said, such as condemning sin. We are afraid we will hurt their feelings, or afraid we will be rejected. But remember this, “God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7). The word “fear” in this verse comes from the Greek word deilia and carries the idea of being a coward. No Christian should be a coward as a soldier in the Lord’s army!
How do we overcome fear? Listen to the apostle John, “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love” (1 John 4:17). Thus Jesus said, “If you love me you will keep my commandments:” (John 14:15). And we are to love our fellow man as well (1 John 3:16-18). Be faithful and do not allow fear to rule you. Love is the key.
Tom Moore (written 2011)