Monday, September 06, 2010


What Are You Afraid Of?

Dan Edelen writes of fear and the church:
Take evangelism, for instance. I think the reason evangelism in this country has practically gone extinct is that many people are scared to death to look incompetent while sharing Christ in any way that borders on apologetics. The reasons for this would probably fill a month’s full of posts here, but needless to say, I think fear is a major reason why American Christians avoid evangelism like the plague.

I think the homogenization that has swept over our churches is largely due to fear. While the Bible equates Christians to sheep, we too often seek out bland flocks, as if the lack of anything distinguishing will somehow allow us to tick a mark off our spirituality checklist while avoiding being too contrarian or countercultural. I mean, the wolves go looking for the oddballs, don’t they?


I have written much about the times we live in. I think they are scary times, not only because we cannot see what each of us will walk through in the coming days, but also because our leaders (political, intellectual, and spiritual) are increasingly failing us. Too much of the world appears to be coming apart at the seams, and who are we to halt the seam-ripping?

I confess that I am fearful that I will not be able to juggle all the demands that keep hitting my household. One needs almost to be a genius to navigate the twists and turns of the countless little bureaucracies that grip us, and the number of people waiting to jump at us with “Gotcha!” seems infinite. (Honestly, I fear the mailman; he never seems to bring good news, and each letter opens to reveal another “Gotcha!”)
I agree - for many a Christian, fear is what keeps us from experiencing the truly abundant life that is promised in Christ.

One thing I know is very helpful to me is to count blessings. I recently had a day where I spent the whole day waiting for "the other shoe to drop." The fact of the matter was, no shoe had dropped for my wife and I. I had a couple of clients in serious regulatory straights, but it was their problem, not ours. I was letting my natural empathy get the better of my self-confidence.

I did an inventory of where we were and the results could only be taken as "Blessed." Yes, there were problems and difficulties, pains and sorrows - but when placed on the balance sheet of life it we were in a very good place.

I have found that to be the case so many times in my life. I am afraid, I am anxious - yes something might happen. But today, this minute, God has me in His hand and is taking very good care.

More importanly, when I review my life and see the difficulties and problems of the past, and how the overwhelming has become the barely noticeable - How can I respond with anything other than "God will get me through."

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