Saturday, February 21, 2009

In the face of fear (III)

A friend and I were talking about why we fear what we fear and if fear should have any place in our lives if we profess to be Christ-centered. Truth be told, Christians aren't supernatural beings. We don't do good works all the time. We don't proclaim God as often as we should. We don't have a default nature of looking on others with compassion.

Serial liars don't automatically end the lying just because they've accepted Christ. Alcoholics don't stop becoming alcoholics just because they've turned to Christ. Cowards don't suddenly become brave. Christians are just judged all the more for the character ills we too face, often because of a misunderstanding by Christian and non-Christian alike that we should all of a sudden be an exemplary slice of humanity and bring peace to the world. Having said that, even if the world sees any positive impact Christians make on any current situation or social problem, they are quick to either coincide it with social, economical or political influence or give praise to everyone but the Creator God.

Don't tell me, "Each to his own" and then expect me to sit back passively and swallow all the nonsense you want to tell me about your notion of morality. If you really believe in the 'each to his own' concept, don't then hypocritically tell me that what I believe in is rubbish because as you said, 'each to his own.' By admission of your own philosophy, at the very least, you disrespect me by saying my beliefs are inferior to yours.

For instance, I believe that God's framework of Salvation works for you as it does for me. You then say, "Each to his own," but what you really mean is "Have whatever convictions you may as long as they don't clash with mine."

Back to fear. People in the Bible were often afraid. After all, fear comes from living in a fallen world. Adam and Eve were greedy. They wanted to grasp equality with God. But after they decided to decide for themselves, they realised that they fell short of the standard of even decently taking care of themselves. That was the beginning of fear in the line of humanity as we know it. We realise we are simply not able enough to cope on our own and this is expressed in our reaction to things we cannot handle.

Fear, like everything else created, began good for God saw that it was good. The fear of the LORD existed in the Garden of Eden. The fear of the LORD doesn't mean to be afraid of His all-surpassing power, it is to be secure in His absoluteness.

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom. It doesn't mean I have stopped being afraid of certain things or that I have learnt to submit fully to the One who knows what's best for me. It doesn't mean I live in apprehension of Jesus' Second Coming nor that I provoke my weaknesses in crooked masochistic revelry. It simply means I am learning to find my role in this fallen world, in the light of a glorious finish when His Majesty comes down to wind up history. I do not want to be a usurper of any role only to find that my feet are not big enough to fill them... and mind you, I have tiny feet! As strange as this sounds and stranger still that the realisation stemmed from ripping fear, I have come to the conclusion, that for me at least, constant and renewed submission to a God beyond utter compare is the key to finally being released from what it is that binds me to fear.

Sometimes, just like a well-tuned thriller movie, fear is given more 'fear factor' credit than it is due.
Job 11:14-16, Psalm 34:4, Psalm 55:5, Micah 7:17, Isaiah 57:11

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