Fear, Control, and Disunity

I don't know about you, but I've had my fill of conspiracy theories for the week. I've had my fill because, in these politically and socially tumultuous times, I find one emotion incredibly dominant in our public discourse: Fear.

Fear is the part of ourselves that tries to insulate in the face of uncertainty, that attempts to protect in the face of insecurity, that tries to control in the face of unpredictably. And I'm sick of it, in part, because it calls out to me too...to insulate, to protect, to control. Now, fear is a totally normal human response to a dangerous world. The problem is that fear plays on the worst part of ourselves, especially the part that demonizes "them" in order to protect "us." 

In their book, Cry of the Soul, Dan Allender and Tremper Longman write, "...all dread is related to the question, Is life predictable?... Change the word 'life' to 'God,' and the questions become personal. Is God predictable?

Looking at that question from one perspective, "Does God do predictable things?" The answer is most certainly, NO! God becoming a human being was something no one saw coming...much less Jesus' resurrection! And from personal experience, my life has been full of unexpected twists and turns, roundabouts, off-ramps and on-ramps that I did not expect. 

But if you're asking, "Is God predictable in who he is? In his character?" then there is no reason to fear. He is predictably good. Predictably just. Predictably loving. 

When we find our stability and security in God, instead of family, tribe, or national identity, fear no longer controls us. Instead of pretending we are angry, we can be honest and vulnerable about our fear, like Jesus was. Instead of letting our fear drive us apart, we can let God's love drive out fear (1 John 4:18). Instead of creating strife in order to protect ourselves, lets strive for unity even at cost to ourselves.

This doesn't mean be silent. This doesn't mean don't make waves. It just means, let's bring those words and waves come from a place of love and not a place of fear. 

 

 

Photo: Amboo who? on Flickr. Creative Commons license