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Tuesday, March 19, 2013

On Fear

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Fear.

Everyone is afraid of something. Sometimes, we're afraid of small things and other times large things scare us.  For me, it's thunderstorms. Sometimes aliens. Usually frogs. Often thoughts of nuclear warfare or a nuclear holocaust.

Why?

Why do we fear certain things? Is it part of our genetic makeup? Perhaps. Is it a direct result of something that happened in our past? Certainly. Is is a random chance that caused us to be afraid? Of course. Because there is no prescription or set formula for fear.

I'm pretty sure I can trace my fear of thunderstorms back to my most vivid (and probably my earliest known) memory of a thunderstorm...which was Hurricane Hugo. Witnessing the storm, and the devastation afterward, really impacted my 4 year old self. To this day, thunderstorms just mess me up.

Fear of nuclear warfare can obviously not be linked to personal experience. So, perhaps this one is fear of the unknown? Fear of what might happen. Fear of the worst case scenario.

And sometimes fear can be a motivator. You hear about people who are able to do things out of fear that they never could do normally. Fear of a negative outcome can cause someone to to change their ways. Fear can be a source of change.

But for many, fear is something that while always present, only usually rears its head every once in awhile. This rambling post most likely came to me while I'm huddled up in bed during a thunderstorm, flinching at lightning strikes and claps of thunder.

So, is fear a good thing? Ever? Or is it always negative? Is fear as a motivation actually good or more like negative reinforcement?

What are you afraid of?


5 comments:

  1. Rational fear is a good thing. We should be afraid of some things - like hurricanes, fire, etc. People who are without fear are reckless and dangerous.
    Irrational fear is probably neither good or bad (I'm scared of peacocks even though I'm pretty sure they can't actually hurt me). Debilitating fear is bad because it keeps us from living life in a normal manner. If you let your fear of nuclear war control your life and cause you to live in a bunker, that would be bad.
    But, without fear, we would never have the opportunity to be courageous.

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    1. Very well put, Selah! I love what you said, "But, without fear, we would never have the opportunity to be courageous."

      :)

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    2. You know, God really seems to be trying to get my attention. This is the second blog post I've read recently that deals with the subject of fear. Plus, my son and I are reading a children's version of The Red Badge of Courage for our study of the Civil War, AND our scripture memory verse last week was Joshua 1:9 "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified. Do not be discouraged. For the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go."

      I know my biggest fear right now concerns selling our house. We've been here for 8-1/2 years and we really want a bigger house. But I am terrified that we won't be able to sell and will end up paying 2 mortgages. Even though we've saved enough so that we can afford 2 mortgage payments for awhile, I'm still scared. I need to be courageous and trust God.

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  2. I think fear can be a good thing. I'm afraid of bridges, and last year on my birthday I walked over one to conquer that a little.

    Fear can also lead to preparedness for disasters, etc.

    Letting fear control you is not a good thing.

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    Replies
    1. That's an awesome story about the bridge. Thanks for sharing! :)

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