September 24, The Cost of Fear

Today’s reading: Psalms 116-120

“The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid.
What can mere mortals do to me?” - Psalm 118:5.

This verse is a bold acclamation of fearlessness that is a worthy goal in life but one that can be difficult to obtain. Why is that? It is because we are Adam and Eve’s children, and we were born in fear. It clings to us like lint on a dark wool blanket. What’s more, we are so grooved with fear, and so accustomed to its presence, that we are unable to confront it. There is helpful fear, for you should be afraid of stealing from your company or of putting your hand down a snake hole. Yet, the fear of what others think, of criticism, of losing their approval, of rejection, and of not being part of the group can keep you from saying or doing what God wants. Even the parents of the man born blind whom Jesus healed succumbed to this fear and could not rejoice in their son’s healing:

“We know he is our son,” the parents answered, “and we know he was born blind. But how he can see now, or who opened his eyes, we don’t know. Ask him. He is of age; he will speak for himself.” His parents said this because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders, who already had decided that anyone who acknowledged that Jesus was the Messiah would be put out of the synagogue. That was why his parents said, “He is of age; ask him” (John 9:20-23).

Of whom are you afraid? What is that fear costing you and keeping you from doing? What are you prepared to do about it?


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