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Healthy and Unhealthy Fear

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What is fear when fear is right?
 
A warning of imminent danger?
A surge of wonder and reverence?
An emotion pointing to importance?
A jolt and call to action?
 
And when it is wrong? What is fear when fear is not called for? What is fear when it becomes pathological and irrational? 
 
Crippling
Terrifying?
Nagging?
Condemning?
Stigmatizing?
Deenergizing? 
 
What takes your breath away? What is that right fear that is intrinsic, that is a gift, and is rational, authentic, and life-affirming? What causes you to pause and drop your jaw?
 
A raging fire?
An earthquake?
The idea of judgment over injustice?
A good thriller or horror movie?
A mighty canyon?
A roaring ocean?
Something inside you?
Something outside of you?
The notion of eternity?
 
Does it invoke fear? Terror?
 
We shrink and shriek and yet, we are drawn back to it repeatedly.
 
Curiosity?
Awe?
Strange attraction?
 
The need to conquer or
The deep desire to be conquered by something greater than ourselves.
 
There is a fear that makes fear obsolete - all other fear than the One Fear that frees us and brings us peace, the awe, the wonder, the reconciliation.
 
If it did not reflect a deep longing of our souls, the ancients would have not sung of it.
 
Explore it.
 
Psalm 76 (NIV) :
For the director of music. With stringed instruments. A psalm of Asaph. A song.
God is renowned in Judah;
in Israel his name is great.
His tent is in Salem,
his dwelling place in Zion.
There he broke the flashing arrows,
the shields and the swords, the weapons of war.
 
You are radiant with light,
more majestic than mountains rich with game.
The valiant lie plundered,
they sleep their last sleep;
not one of the warriors
can lift his hands.
At your rebuke, God of Jacob,
both horse and chariot lie still.
 
It is you alone who are to be feared.
Who can stand before you when you are angry?
From heaven you pronounced judgment,
and the land feared and was quiet—
when you, God, rose up to judge,
to save all the afflicted of the land.
Surely your wrath against mankind brings you praise,
and the survivors of your wrath are restrained.
 
Make vows to the Lord your God and fulfill them;
let all the neighboring lands
bring gifts to the One to be feared.
He breaks the spirit of rulers;
he is feared by the kings of the earth.
 
Special thanks to
Christine Nichols Art


 

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