Posts Tagged ‘created

10
Mar
21

Check Your Fear

Every morning, right before Patrick the dog and I head out on our morning walk, I check the temperature outside. I usually do that by pulling out my iPhone and saying, “Hey Sirii… what’s the temperature?”

Secure with Sirii’s answer, I then know what kind of coat to put on. Or whether.

I also like to check the humidity, the likelihood of precipitation, and maybe even the barometric pressure if I can.

But there is something else I should check every morning just as religiously… and so should you.

Before setting out in the morning I also need to check my Fear-O-Meter. That is, I need to ask – and honestly answer – the question, “How big of a role is fear playing in my life today?”

It is an easier question to answer than you might imagine at first. There are a few readily identifiable “tells” that will tip you off to the level of fear you carry on any given day.

For example, I can check and see how much energy am I spending DEFENDING myself. Am I doing a lot of work staking out a position – on any given topic – and then building impenetrable bulwarks of RIGHTNESS around that position? [The fact is, most forms of social media offer us nearly limitless opportunities to engage in this very fear-based defensive activity, don’t they?]

Or I can quickly measure my fear index by calibrating the amount of weight I am giving to others’ opinions of me… and how much I am allowing those opinions to shape my words, actions, or wardrobe. 

I can also choose to come at the question from the other side. I can choose to measure my fear using The Jesus Scale. The Jesus Scale was obviously developed by Jesus (duh!!), but was eloquently articulated some 70 years later by John the Evangelizer. John said, “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear…” (1 John 4:18, NRSV).

In other words, the more my daily thoughts and actions are driven by LOVE, the lower the reading on my FEAR-O-METER will be. The converse is also true… the higher my level of fear, the less my life will be driven by love.

I can also tell when fear is running my show when I try to recruit you to join me here in Fearsylvania, USA. I will usually start by saying something like, “Well, if you’re not afraid, you’re just not paying attention.” 

There are plenty of reasons to look around and declare that we live in scary times, aren’t there? I mean, just look at our current American political situation; look what THEY are trying to do to US!

Look at the environment… look at the world’s geopolitical muddle… look at the tattered state of our ethical and moral framework… look at the sorry state of the NFC East, for crying out loud! [OK, sorry… superfluous and impertinent football reference there. Unnecessary. Irrelevant. Truth.]

It is all enough to send the Fear-O-Meter quivering into the red zone!

But here is the thing: Yes… all of that scary stuff is true. All of it is cause for concern. But each of us has to ask: is IT going to be the thing that shapes the way I live today? Or am I going to choose to cast out that fear with Christ-like love?

It’s a choice that is available to all of us, every day.

Abundant blessings;




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