Moments Together For Couples

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Good Fears
March 25

Do not be afraid; for God has come in order to test you, and in order that the fear of Him may remain with you, so that you may not sin.”

Exodus 20:20

 

Former President Franklin D. Roosevelt was close to being right when he said, “There is nothing to fear but fear itself!” What Roosevelt didn’t mention was there are actually two good kinds of fear.

 

The first good kind of fear is the fear of God—a reverential awe of God. The Bible speaks a lot about this fear in verses such as Proverbs 1:7, which says, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge.” As we fear God, we begin to realize that not only does this fear help us honor Him and keep us from sinning, but also that God is our fortress and our stronghold. We can trust Him.

 

The second kind of good fear is the raw fear of self-preservation. This fear can be good or it can be unhealthy, depending on whether you are facing a real danger or just one you perceive. When confronted with real danger, this fear can save your life!

 

I experienced this fear while trying to unhook a fishing lure that got hung up across a stream in the Rocky Mountains. I looked down the path and spotted a rattlesnake as big as your arm in front of me. In that moment I felt stark terror, and I turned and ran.

 

Perceived dangers can provoke the same kind of terror. And these, unfortunately, cause fear more often than real danger. I’ll never forget when my son Benjamin was about three, and he woke up screaming. Standing up in his bed, his eyes looking like silver dollars, he cried out, “Daddy, there’s tigers everywhere!” So I pulled out my imaginary gun and shot all those tigers. “There, son, they’re gone,” I said. That calmed him down and he fell asleep again.

 

As adults, we can be just like my son Benjamin—we perceive something as real when it isn’t. When we live our lives as though the imaginary “tigers” are real, we waste emotional energy that can be used in living life purposefully and serving others sacrificially.

 

Discuss

Are there any real dangers that are present in your life right now? How about perceived dangers?

 

Pray

Ask the Lord to help you fear Him and to recognize when you are acting fearful because of perceived danger rather than real danger.

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