As much as we would hate to admit it, most of our lives are totally governed by fear. We also know that, because of this, people are easily able to sell us what they want to sell us.
The two primary avenues they take are through religion and politics.
Like a good salesperson, preachers and politicians play on our fears to sell us who we should vote for and where we should send our money. Before you dismiss it as not true in your situation, take a good hard look at where you’re spending your energy and your money.
For years, politicians and preachers have told us that we should be afraid of foreign governments, and things like communism and socialism and being invaded by their countries. One of the biggest images was Russia. Then, we watched recently as they meagerly attempted to invade a small, mostly unarmed, country called Ukraine. Needless to say, it was an utter failure.
Where I live, it is mostly rural. Except for drug use, we have very little crime. The statistical likelihood of the NRA mantra about someone coming into your house and attacking your family is statistically almost never going to happen. Yet because the fear message got, we have more guns per capita than probably anywhere else. Most people have a safe or two full of them.
Every Sunday, in churches across America, fear messages about hell, and the evil world that is after us, and our impending doom in one way or another, is used to manipulate us to give money and serve their organization. This fear creates a codependency and an addiction.
I don’t believe politicians or preachers started out with the wrong motivation. I think they all wanted to help people in some way. But little by little, every speaker begins to realize that a little fear goes a long way, and it motivates people to action. When Donald Trump incited the mob to violence, he simply told them “…or you won’t have a country left.”
As Laura and I have been writing this book called, Out into the Desert, we keep hearing the common injunction that “we’re not like everybody else.” It’s what we tell ourselves to normalize our actions. But the fear / control model is ingrained in most of our systems and our resulting reactions.
Somehow, we must switch the motivation from fear to love. Most of what we imagine will never happen, and it doesn’t help much at all to prepare for the worst. I sometimes tell myself that even if the worst happens, everyone will be experiencing it, not just me.
I hope you will break free from those that are manipulating you with fear messages. It may mean that you have to leave your religion. It may mean that you have to find some new friends. It might be that you have to pull back from politics. In all these things, we have realized that the world didn’t end because we removed ourselves from the toxic models of fear and control.
In fact, our lives got better! I’m now able to live at peace, even recovering from a stroke and facing disability.
I believe you can too! The book will be released August 15. I believe it will help!
Be where you are,
Be who you are,
Karl Forehand is a former pastor, podcaster, and award-winning author. His books include Apparent Faith: What Fatherhood Taught Me About the Father’s Heart and The Tea Shop. He is the creator of The Desert Sanctuary podcast. He is married to his wife Laura of 32 years and has one dog named Winston. His three children are grown and are beginning to multiply!