Overcoming your fears

“I was brought up and taught to have no fear.” – (Prodigy, G.O.D. Part III)

“Do you not fear me? declares the LORD. Do you not tremble before me?” (Jeremiah 5:22)

We get advice at every turn on how to overcome our fears. In order of Google’s auto-complete: fear of long words, clowns, flying and heights. Back in 1989 the No Fear brand was launched with the vision of being “synonymous with an attitude of irreverent and spirited engagement”.

No Fear was the in thing. We wore it, we lived it. To this day some Bajans have their own brand of No Fear; I’m sure you’ve heard it before: “Ya see me, ya see me? I ain’t frighten’ fuh a fella. Not a boy I ain’t frighten’ fuh.”

It was said that the fear of public speaking is the number one fear, followed by death. Given that statistic, Seinfeld concluded that most people would prefer to be the one being buried than the one giving the eulogy at a funeral. I wish that the reader or their loved ones didn’t have to experience either but at least one is inevitable.

It is because of this fact that God reminds us of why we should fear him. M. G. Easton explains that the fear of God “is not a slavish dread but rather filial reverence”. Earthly fears cripple and hinder, but the fear of God is liberating. Among other things, it leads to life (Proverbs 19:23), turns us away from evil (Proverbs 16:6), is the beginning of wisdom (Psalm 111:10) and the end of the matter (Ecclesiastes 12:13).

Perhaps we treat each other the way we do: murder, use and abuse because we do not fear God as we should. There was much talk about America avoiding the fiscal cliff, but her and indeed the world’s most pressing problem is the free fall over the moral cliff that we have been in since Eden.

I suspect a healthy fear of God would go a long way in our efforts to stop this free fall. I doubt anyone who fears God would go into a public place or lie in wait and kill another person created in God’s image.

Jesus’ words in Matthew 10:28 offer a stark reminder to this particular brand of no fear mentality alluded to by Prodigy. He makes it clear that there is only one we should fear: the one who can destroy both soul and body in hell.

“Bad man” can only deal with the flesh, Good Man can deal with both flesh and soul. May God increase our fear of and faith in him. It is only then that we can be ready for death and prepared for judgement. In the end, nothing else matters.

— Adrian Sobers

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