Proverbs 29:25 Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD is kept safe. (NIV)
She had a fear of thunderstorms. If riding down the road and one approached, she would knock on a strangerís door seeking refuge. If home, she would go to her daughterís house and hide in a closet. Though she laughed at her antics, she could not conquer them.
My grandmother feared people-a fear that intensified after my grandfatherís death. Living in an old farm house with windows and doors that were a thiefís delight didnít help. So she barricaded herself in her room at night with chairs under the doorknobs and wooden rods in the windows to prevent them from being raised.
Iíve had a few fears as well. It was once that something I touched or ate would poison me. Then the short period when I was overcome by the constant fear of dying. And Iíve feared bears and muggers while camping.
The proverb reminds us fear of God is more important. Jesus referenced the same: ďDo not be afraid of those who kill the bodyÖRather be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hellĒ (Matthew 10:28).
Both verses remind us to keep our fears in perspective. Fear is a God created emotion that when responded to correctly is beneficial. Fear of being hit by a car causes me to look before I cross a highway. Fear of damaging my credit rating leads me to financial responsibility. Fear of losing money makes me cautious about where I invest. And fear of failure makes me try harder to be a good parent.
But fear wrongly perceived can paralyze. It can stymie my faith and prevent me from traveling the road God wants me on. It can keep me a spiritual babe when God wants to grow me up. It can even cause me to accumulate and trust in things rather than in the One who controls my life and eternity.
God is not the author of misguided fears. Rather he helps us conquer fears that arenít related to reverence for him.
Prayer: Merciful God, when our unfounded fears overcome us, remind us You do not give a spirit of fear but of power and of love and of a sound mind. www.morningliteministry.com