Irrational fear (phobia) – A persistent, abnormal, and irrational fear of a specific thing or situation that compels one to avoid it, despite the awareness and reassurance that it is not dangerous.
While some are terrified of heights, other people tremble at the sight of a tiny mouse, and still others cringe in the midst of a crowd. Two of my own irrational fears include getting shots and having someone follow me in a staircase because I imagine myself being chased (yeah – weird, I know). Many of us possess some type of irrational fear that we know doesn’t make sense, but we’re still frightened anyway.
Believe it or not, there is a fear even more irrational than the one I have involving the staircase chase. It is a fear that, with true faith and fear of God, it is simply illogical – and that is the fear of man. Do you ever find yourself trying to please people just because it’s comfortable? How often do you shy away from sharing your faith, fearing that someone will shoot you down? If your answer is frequently or sometimes, it’s time to shake it off.
Sometimes we will suffer for sharing our faith, but remember that Jesus died on the cross in order that we could live – and this means that we will suffer in his honor. Romans 8:17 reminds us specifically that we are children of God “and if children, then heirs – heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified in him.”
This can be tough to swallow, but be comforted in what Paul said in 1 Peter 4:14,16: “If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you… if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that name.”
Long story, short: the fear of God (and love for him) dissolves all fear of man. After all, if the Lord is on your side, what can man do to you? [Psalm 118:6]
This post was by Lizzie Casey. She is a Junior at NC State, worship leader for my Bible study, and an amazing godly woman. She will be working with Summit Church in Raleigh this summer to serve inner city kids as well as go on a mission trip to Kenya. If you would like more information and are interested in supporting her, you can find more information here.