I had a
lot of fears growing up. I feared I would not find a decent girl to marry. I
feared not being liked by my circle of friends. I feared not being appreciated after doing a good job. I feared not performing
well in my academics. I feared losing my family members to death, amongst many other
fears. I still have some of those fears today but not to the degree that I had
a few years back. I have come to see that fear is a temporal good thing and a
bad thing at the same time. Why did I say temporal good? Because fear can drive
us to do the right things with the wrong motivation. Fear of being
caught can keep you faithful in a relationship. Fear of being fired can keep you
reporting to work on time. The end result is great but the motivation is not.
It’s a temporal good because it
does not last. Eventually Homo Sapiens Sapiens’ intelligence finds a way to
muffle fear. The infidelity is covered by secrecy. The getting late to work is
covered by lies. In no time, there’s no good at all out of it. Now fear’s nasty face is obvious. Fear
makes us hush when injustice thrives. Fear keeps us mum when we ought to stand
up to the bully in class. Fear keeps us in status quo and stops us from operating beyond
our comfort zone.
Fear manifests itself in many ways. Here are some:
Anger is an expression
of fear. We fear not being liked. So when miscommunication occurs and we are mistakenly painted in bad light, we are afraid that people may think ill of us, so we
raise our voices angrily to prove our innocence.
Revenge is an expression of fear. We were heart-broken and
we feared being seen as weak and vulnerable so we had to show our Chuck Norris
spirit through a well-crafted plot.
Self-pity is an expression of fear. We fear not having
attention. So we delve into a bottomless pit of depression that kills every
mirth and euphoria in those around us. We turn their attention to our forlorn
state of life and require their sympathy and even tissues and tears.
A harsh person is an example of a fearful person. They may
fear being seen as failures. As a result, every project they work on gets completed
perfectly but they end up with no friends. In their ferocity, they steeped on the toes of their
team members remorselessly to produce a perfect Powerpoint presentation.
Possessiveness over our loved ones is an expression of fear.
We fear being alone so we hold onto the ones closest to us and claim that we
only do what we do cause we love them. No, the truth is that we fear.
Being accepting can also be an expression of fear. We fear
being rejected by people so we accept everything about them even the things
that hurt us. We are willing to be hurt than to be rejected, so we stick
fearful expression is driven by selfishness. It’s all about the victim. You don’t want
to be misunderstood. You don’t want to be vulnerable. You want attention. You
want to be seen as successful. You want to feel loved. You want to be accepted.
And while all these things are good to feel, beloved, they are all temporal
goods acquired with the wrong motivation. They won’t hold for long. A day will come when you WILL be misunderstood
and no amount of shouting and barking will convince the other party. A day will
come when your heart will be so broken that you will lack the capacity and the
will to fight back. A day will come when your self-pity will be too toxic to
endure and you will have nobody to cry with around you. A day will come when your
friends will take no more of your drivel and walk away because of your viper
attitude. You will discover that if you want to go fast, you go alone but if
you want to go far, you need those friends. A day will come when your children
will leave the home, get married and you will have no say over their decisions.
A day will come when people will reject you. She may refuse to marry you. He
may refuse to continue dating you. And you will discover that you’re all alone.
Fear may help us get what we want but it won’t last. It’s a temporal good.
Love casts out fear
It takes no small doses of courage to overcome some of our deepest fears. Courage is not the absence of fear but rather it is the will to act despite
fear. Courage in itself is NOT a driving force. Courage is the chassis; love is
the engine. Courage is driven by love. It takes love to consider the feelings of
the people you are about to raise your voice to. It takes love to discard your
sinister revenge schemes and let the other person live in peace even when they
have hurt you. Misery loves company. It takes love to keep them out of that sorry state. It also takes loving oneself to get out of your misery of self-pity
and use your time and energy for a better cause. It takes love to stop being
possessive over the ones around us and even see them achieve success without
our input. It takes love to treat your friends with kind words and a kind
attitude. It takes love to confront our friends affectionately even if means that they
will reject us. Love counters our fear.
Love drives courage. Now, you may have read that and thought to
yourself, “Ernest, that kind of love is non-existent.” And you’re right. As far
as humanity is concerned, that love does not exist. That kind of love is only
found in the supernatural. It’s the love of Divinity. It’s the Love of
feared being misunderstood, he accepted our insults on that cross. When we
feared being vindicated for our broken hearts, he took the revenge on that
bleeding tree. When we feared having attention, he crowned us with glory and
gave us everlasting attention through eternal life. When we feared being seen
as failures, he made us victors so that for eternity we will be conquerors.
When we feared losing our loved ones, he gave us himself and promised to never
leave us. When we feared not being accepted, he accepted us in our worst state
and clothed us in his righteousness. His love gives us courage to discard our
own fears. His loves shows us that it isn’t about us but it’s about Him. His
love shows us that while the whole world may not understand us, He knows our
deepest hurts. And for that reason, we don’t need to justify our existence and
our performance. His love shows that He did not pour out his revenge on our
sinfulness but forgave us and therefore compels us to forgive those who hurt
us. For if we do not forgive, we claim
to be greater than God in authority. His love teaches us that we are fearfully
and wonderfully made. We are not accidental atoms that collided to form a human
being. We are weaved in His complexity and created in His own Image. Our
confidence and self-esteem rests in being Children of the Cosmic King. His love
demonstrates that he was patient with the weak and so should we be with those
around us. His love shows us that He had the courage to let us know that He was
the Way the Truth and the Life and that nobody goes to Father except through him.
Whether we liked Him or not for stating what we don’t want to hear, He let us
know so that we could have a chance at eternity. For that reason we have the
courage to correct in love those who will reject us. He loves us. We remain
faithful in our relationships because He is faithful and not because we fear
being caught. We cease fearing that we are 30 and unmarried because we know if
we ask and believe, the right Husband will come, beloved. We cease being fearful that He
will not meet our needs because His Word is faithful and He cannot lie (Numbers
23:19). The only fear He teaches us is a healthy fear, the fear of the Lord
which means the Love and reverence of the Lord! No more fear, beloved; start
4:18a There is no fear in love. But perfect
love drives out fear