I recently wrote an article saying that it’s okay to have fear in your life. My life contains a good number of fears, which I view as nothing more than common sense reminders.
The majority of people reading my column understood what I was saying. Christian friends did for the most part, although one fellow thought it was contradictory to what the Bible teaches. This individual is a family member that I was trying to reach most. He does not seem to understand that there are two distinct types of fear.
Webster’s defines things this way:
1: An unpleasant often strong emotion caused by expectation or awareness of danger. 2: Concern about what may happen; worry of the unknown.
The family member I refer to believes that the Biblical definition covers both arenas.
Fear that I mention in my initial composition equates to Webster’s definition number one. Having fear of being in a swimming pool when an electrical storm suddenly appears is purely common sense. This fear tells you to get out, and get out quick.
Unfortunately, there are some believing have no fear means they can stay in the water, and regardless of the danger, God will always have their back. That doesn’t always work out. I could tell you story after story about foolish things people have done via the non-Biblical interpretation.
Here lately, we see these fearless ones (if you can call them that), continuing to go about their daily lives as if Covid-19 will never touch them. I call it Superman or Superwoman mentality.
In my town, bars and taverns fill up with patrons each evening, going against the professional advice of medical experts. Newspapers show groups of young people partying it up on local beaches. The Biblical principle of have no fear does not apply here.
Psalm 23:4 says: Even though I walk through the valley of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff they comfort me.
God tells us that as believers in Jesus Christ, we should not fear the unknown. This covers a lot of ground. If we practice specific medical guidelines handed down to us by infectious disease experts, he will lead us through this pandemic crisis. God does not instruct folks though, to go about their lives in a fearless and reckless manner.
In the 1990’s, there was a popular clothing line called, “No Fear”. Young people wore the company’s attire with pride including my son.
An attitude of having no fear back then was quite prevalent among teenagers; still is.
The owners of “No Fear” perfectly followed their namesake by making risky business deals. They eventually crashed and burned (bankruptcy).
Many young people from that era, now adults, have scars much like the defunct clothing manufacturer, showing where they crossed the line. Some of them still didn’t learn.
They’re still doing things contradictory to God’s definition of, have no fear!