Fear paralyzes; fear negates love, forgiveness, and acceptance; fear stops us dead in our tracks from looking for the good in others, and move us to withdraw from socialization. In fact, an antonym for fear is assurance, so if we live in fear we can never be assured of the love, peace, grace, and forgiveness of the Divine in our lives – fear should never be a motivation.
Over the past many years, fear has been the driving force in our conversations, we have become comfortable with fear, and strive to pass it along to others. For many, fear has become such a part of who they are they will tell you, “It is just the way it is.” When we are motivated by fear, we are in turn motivated by anger.
Focusing on fear never brings hope, hope can only be realized when we drive fear from our lives; when we face fear head on.When we center on fear we miss out on the joys of connecting with the world around us. We believe our point of view is the right point of view, and we reject those who are different. In John’s first letter he writes, “Perfect love drives out fear.” Yet, there are those on either point in the theological spectrum who focus on fear – this drives out the desire to find love, grace, and forgiveness in our world. When our lives are focused on fear, we miss out on so much – from the Divine, and from relationships with others.
When we fear, we withdraw – we find reasons not to connect with others. Sometime we justify our fears, while other times our fears are completely unfounded. But we justify our unfounded fears with twisted theology, vilifying others, or just out of ignorance we disconnect from the Divine, and each other. But that’s the nature of fear. We start with a reason to fear something, or someone, and we encourage our fears to grow; in that we lump all people who look like the ones we fear into the same fear that drives us. In doing so, we lose control of our lives, and allow fear to be our light. But fear is, if it is at all, a very poor light to walk by.