While some of my daredevil cronies were known to have climbed one of these from time to time, there is only one reason I never did it …………. fear ………… cold, unmitigated fear. Fear of falling and cracking my skull wide open and fear of spending time in a local juvenile detention center. Neither was particularly appealing to me. Granted, there were other death-defying feats that I performed but we won’t go there …..
There are two types of fear – healthy fear and unhealthy fear. You might say that healthy fear is simply common sense. You look at a situation, evaluate the risk, and make a decision about whether to proceed or not. If the risk is unwarranted, wisdom would guide you to opt out. Healthy fear keeps you from crossing a busy highway when traffic is flying past you from both directions. Healthy fear tells you not to touch a hot metal pan that was just pulled from the fire.
But an unhealthy fear can be debilitating, reducing your ability to act and causing all kinds of negative side effects. For example –
I was participating in a competition once like a hundred I had performed in before. But for some reason, this one had my guts all churned up. My stomach was in more than just knots; I was suffering from hard, painful cramps. The pain was so debilitating, I could hardly stand up. I was literally gripped by fear.
Why and how fear can be so strong is a mystery. How does it change us from a bastion of confidence into a bowl of jello in a matter of moments?
Paul Tripp wrote an article entitled 4 Debilitating Fears for the Gospel Coalition that is directed towards pastors but I think can be applied to everyone. In the article he lists four debilitating fears:
- My fear of me
- My fear of others
- My fear of circumstances
- My fear of the future
God does not want us to live in fear. The Bible is full of verses to reassure us that everything is in his hands. Every second of every day, he demonstrates how much he loves us through the working of his perfect will in and around us. When we come to a full realization of the depth of his love, fear looses its power. The fear that once made us tremble with ineffectiveness has lost its grip.
2 Timothy 1:7 ESV – For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.
Joshua 1:9 ESV – Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
Hebrews 13:6 ESV – So we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?”
1 John 4:18 ESV – There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.
Psalm 23:4 ESV – Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
Psalm 27:1 ESV – Of David. The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?
Deuteronomy 31:8 ESV – It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.”
Romans 8:15 ESV – For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!”
John 14:27 ESV – Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.
Isaiah 41:10 ESV – Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
I’m ready for a hot mug of coffee. Here’s to a fearless day!!
All verse quotes courtesy of openbible.info