Last week Americans watched in horror and some with fascination as two young men paralyzed a city of more than a million souls. For days people huddled in their homes, mostly because authorities requested it as a strategy to smoke out the cowards who had planted bombs at the Boston Marathon, but many others huddled in fear.
I am not a social scientist, but I have a theory. If you spit in the face of fear, terror loses its power.
If you check a dictionary, the first synonym listed for “fear” is “terror.” The first synonym listed for “terror” is “fear.” Terrorism is wholesale distribution of fear and we are already susceptible. We live in a culture dominated by fear;
fear of financial failure
fear of personal failure
fear of poor health
fear of rejection
fear of difficulty
fear of death
Add your own fear to the list.
We have a only a few options in regard to fear. Choose to live in fear! Choose to cease living because of fear! Choose to live in spite/spit of fear!
I choose the last option. I refuse to allow anyone to keep me from living. I refuse to allow anything to set itself up as bigger and badder than the God I serve and the purpose to which he has called me.
Remember September 11 2001? Without hesitation I would have boarded a plane on Sept 12th, most certainly to get to a desired destination, but also in defiance of those who would try to use fear to stop me from living.
Someone called a Nashville radio station last week. They were considering backing out of the Nashville’s Country Music Marathon because of what happened in Boston.
Are you kidding me?
I have never run a marathon, but I might enter this one just out of spite/spit. This isn’t about the tired mantra we’ve heard, “You should run the marathon or the terrorists win!” It is about the truth, “You should run the marathon or your spirit loses.”
Here are Five Resolutions that can keep fear from dominating our life. These resolutions are useful no matter what fear you are facing.
1. Resolve to be Wise
Running across four lanes of traffic at night dressed in black clothing is not a sign of courage, it’s a sign of stupidity. Running across four lanes of traffic to save a child who has wandered onto the freeway is courageous. Wisdom is knowing the difference between courageous and stupid and choosing to be courageous.
2. Resolve to be courageous.
Decide ahead of time to be willing to risk your life for the sake of others. First responders do it for a living. For followers of Christ it should be a way of life. This lifestyle crushes fear. The Bible puts it this way, “Love casts out all fear.” It’s only when we’re obsessed with ourselves that fear dominates. Our self centered culture feeds on fear.
3. Resolve to live with purpose
Those who have a reason to live beyond just staying alive are the ones who stay alive. They don’t cower in the face of fear, they don’t back out of the next marathon, they don’t stop proclaiming their faith, they don’t cringe in the face of criticism. They live! The purpose driven life grinds it’s heel in the face of fear on the way to a higher goal. The Apostle Paul said, “For me to live is Christ and if I die, I gain.” Put that in your pipe and smoke it, scary thing!
4. Resolve to seek hope.
The force behind Paul’s commitment to living full alive was his hope in the Power of Christs resurrection. His belief in eternal life made him almost impervious to the threats of death and torture that were hurled at him. His belief that the same power that raised Christ from the dead was available to help him live out his intentional purpose no matter what the cost, made him an illusive target for fear. That same power is available to every follower of Christ.
5. Resolve to live free
“Know the truth and the truth will set you free.” Free from what? From bondage, and fear, and all the things that keep us from living fully alive.
We know who put the world in place.
We know who’s hand holds it in place.
We know his love and design for us.
We know that he has defeated EVERY evil imaginable and shares that victory with us. Even death has lost its sting.
The human spirit cannot be killed! It can only be surrendered! Choose wisdom, courage, purpose, hope and freedom……. LIVE!
How did you respond to the Boston bombing? What is your fear? Have you ever spit in the face of fear?
Your honest comments will be so helpful to all of us.
Fear tolerated is Faith contaminated!
One word Janet! WOW! A couple of other words. Thank you!
Love this Janet!
Many of us have worked in environments (even churches) where fear is the primary tool used by leadership to control people. In those environments, spitting in the face of fear gives you the opportunity to pursue your passions rather than their approval. We just need to learn how to be creative (https://wp.me/p36il6-58).
Terry, Loved your informative post! I believe we all have a creative nature, but for many of us it has been stifled or we have never had the courage to express it. Fascinating in your post how many of the requirements for expressing full creativity are almost oxymorons. The ability to look at what exists on both ends of a spectrum and incorporate the best of what you fine. Very thought provoking. Thank you for commenting and providing the link to your BRAIN!
For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7
Words to live by in these perilous times! Thank you Ken for your message to all of us!
Letting fear control us implies we serve an impotent God. “This is what God, Yahweh, says—who created the heavens and stretched them out,
who spread out the earth and what comes from it,
who gives breath to the people on it
and life to those who walk on it—” (Isaiah 42:5). Does this sound like a helpless God? Powerful resolutions, Ken, thank you.
I love your enthusiasim, your vigor, your determination to live fully, and your humor. And I loved reading Fully Alive. I often think that if I had had your voice in my ear growing up and throughout my life I would have taken more risks and would have lived far more outrageously and adventurously – I would have probably learned to swim, gone skiing or snowboarding, stood on the edge of cliffs to get a better view, and so much more. We would have done some great things together! I also think I would have been an internal and emotional mess. Your voice, though I thoroughly appreciate it, is so different than my voice that I hear within myself. First of all, I don’t spit – at anyone or anything. I understand you are not talking about literal spitting – I’m just not a defiantly back-at-you person. I care deeply and want to affect things that matter to me, but in a quiet, thoughtful way. I admire the doers and go-getters in the world and the Bible is quite clear that if actions do not accompany our faith there is a problem. I do and I go, but at my core, I relate to life in reflection and contemplation. Secondly, I did hesitate after 911 not just to fly, but in a number of ways. The hesitation was not so much about fear as it was who I am. I hesitate and consider in the face of potential danger. That may seem fearful and greatly lacking in audacity, but I like to think that that sort of thinking and consideration is the reason cars have airbags, the reason safety features or back-up procedures of any kind are a part of our lives. As popular as it is currently to live radical Christianity and to dare and do great exploits for God, there are many of us who are simply not that kind of person. Honestly, it hurts sometimes. We can feel inadequate, less-than, and critcized until we remember that we are not failures or anomolies; we are created by the Most High God for purpose and influence. Our accomplishments may seem puny by comparison to those of more driven, high-impact type people and we may seem timid and retiring compared to those who are extroverted, aggresive, and bold, but comparison is rarely helpful and what matters is being faithful to who God has made us and what He has called us, as that creation, to be and do. We will never have the far-reaching, global impact as someone like you, but the globe also needs those of us who are simply there in our own worlds, being caring, kind, present, and listening. People like you are awesome and while we love your heart and adreneline, there are many of us who will never and should never be like you. And that’s okay.
Pingback: How to react in the aftermath of Boston: no room for fear | LOVE > FEAR
Pingback: FearLESS - Christian Chat Rooms & Forums
Skype has established its internet-based buyer beta to the entire world, soon after
launching it broadly from the U.S. and You.K. before this four weeks.
Skype for Online also now can handle Chromebook and Linux for immediate
text messaging connection (no video and voice yet, these demand a connect-in installation).
The expansion from the beta provides assistance for an extended selection of different languages to help you
strengthen that international user friendliness
I laugh in face of fear and tweak the nose of terror.