Jesus ~ Vs. Our Five Basic Fears

There were two diving boards on the platform of our county’s only public “swimming hole,” a place I only got to visit two or three times a year. At the relentless urging of a couple of my friends, I found myself standing at the outside edge of the “high” board – “high” being about 7 or 8 feet above the semi-brownish lake below. The high board didn’t look so high from down there in the water, but the view got more imposing with every step up the ladder. By the time I got to the top, my pudgy 13-year-old body was on the verge of visibly trembling. I’d heard that just before you die, your whole life flashes before your eyes, and it seemed like it was happening to me a little ahead of schedule. My heart was pounding as I remembered how few times I had ever tried to swim and that the only stroke I had managed to master at that point was the “dog paddle.” The guys I came with were in the water holding onto the floating platform and prodding me to get on with it. My best friend yelled, “C’mon, Ronnie! Don’t be scared, just jump! There’s nothing to be afraid of.” But then after a brief pause he added, “…but if you happen to drown, can I have your baseball glove?” It was clear that dealing with fear is easier when you aren’t the one locked in its grip.

Two Primary Drives ~
It’s tragic to contemplate how many lives are lived in misery because of some real or imagined fear. God ordained fear to be a positive force to protect us from plunging into all kinds of dangerous circumstances and situations. But as with every wonderful gift of God, the enemy has co-opted fear and used it against us. Fear and love are two of the most powerful forces available to human beings. God’s choice for the source of our primary motivational energy would be love, but sadly, more people seem to be driven by what they fear than what they love, and just in case you’re running out of things to fear, there’s help available.

The next Presidential election is still over a year away, but the fear mongers have been in high gear for months already. Obviously, the fears we’re facing as a nation are genuine and we ought not to minimize or ignore them. There are active trouble spots around the world that could draw us into some kind of military conflict. Trade disputes and problems in the area of international diplomacy could have an impact on the economy that could negatively affect multitudes of our people financially. And then on the domestic front, there’s the illegal immigration crisis on our southern border. It’s frightening to contemplate the impact of millions of illegal aliens defying our laws and continuously flooding into our country and demanding rights only offered to citizens.

The List Goes On ~
If you haven’t achieved a state of helpless paranoia yet, the food police will dutifully inform you that without their help, you’re incapable of knowing what or how to eat. They warn that artificial sweeteners, chemical additives, processed canned goods, and eating stuff grown by farmers who ever used “fertilizer” or imprisoned a chicken will eventually kill you. Then if the nutritional peril isn’t enough, the cosmetic and fitness gurus imply that left to ourselves, we’ll end up looking so flabby and disgusting that our dog will run away from home to avoid being seen with us.

Five Basic Fears ~
Fears can be disabling, of course, but Jesus didn’t come to remove every frightening challenge that this evil world throws at us. Instead, He came to engage every fear the devil has twisted into a weapon against us and to make a way to overcome it. Dr. Karl Albrecht postulated that there are five basic fears experienced and shared by every human being to some degree, and in this hedonistic culture, their negative influence is growing at alarming rates. Many react with mood altering substances or some kind of trendy self-help gimmick. God, on the other hand, offers the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Those five basic fears are

      • Extinction—the fear of ceasing to exist. The idea of no longer “being” arouses a primary existential anxiety in all normal humans.
          • God made us eternal. Jesus promised that in Him, everyone will continue to live on forever. He said, ...Because I live, you will live also. John 14:19 (NKJV)
      • Mutilation—the fear of losing any part of our bodily structure; of having our body’s boundaries invaded, or of losing the integrity of any organ, body part, or natural function.
          • Jesus took our sins in His own body on the cross and promises a new one with no defects, and it’s equipped to live forever. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.  1 Corinthians 15:52 (NKJV)
      • Loss of Autonomy—the fear of being immobilized, paralyzed, restricted, enveloped, overwhelmed, entrapped, imprisoned, smothered, or otherwise controlled by circumstances beyond our control.
          • Jesus promised a kind of freedom that cannot be imprisoned by walls and bars constructed in this world. Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed. John 8:36 (NKJV)
      • Separation—the fear of abandonment, rejection, and loss of connectedness; of becoming a non-person—not wanted, respected, or valued by anyone else.
          • Our Savior promised that He would never abandon us, that we are His family and loved with an invincible love. He said, I will never leave you nor forsake you… Hebrews 13:5 (NKJV)
      • Ego-death—the fear of humiliation, shame, or any other mechanism of profound self-disapproval that threatens the loss of integrity of self; the fear of the shattering or disintegration of one’s constructed sense of lovability, capability, and worthiness.
          • God made it clear that we were worth the most precious treasure that Heaven could produce, and we will be exalted in Christ to a seat at the family table. He has …raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus. Ephesians 2:6 (NKJV)

There is much more to be said of fear and its power to influence our lives, and we will explore it more in future articles, but regardless of the fears you may be facing now, personal faith in Jesus Christ offers redemption from every negative form that fear can take. Paul condensed God’s promise like this:

He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins. Colossians 1:13-14 (NKJV)

So, if you’re standing there on the high board like I was and don’t know what to do, go ahead and jump. There’s something better than a pal waiting down below. There’s someone so much stronger, so much better, who loves you enough to make that jump “with” you.

______________________________

“TWEETABLES” ~ Click to Tweet & Share from the pull quotes below. Each quote links directly back to this article through Twitter.

  • “Fears can be disabling, but Jesus didn’t come to remove every frightening challenge this evil world throws at us. Instead, He came to engage every fear the devil has twisted into a weapon against us and to make a way to overcome it.” @GallaghersPen (Click here to Tweet)   
  • “Our Savior promised that He would never abandon us, that we are His family and loved with an invincible love. He said, I will never leave you nor forsake you… Hebrews 13:5 (NKJV)@GallaghersPen (Click here to Tweet) 
  • “God made it clear that we are worth the most precious treasure that Heaven could produce, and we will be exalted in Christ to a seat at the family table. ‘He has raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.’ Ephesians 2:6 (NKJV)@GallaghersPen (Click here to Tweet) 
  • “Dr. Karl Albrecht postulated that there are five basic fears experienced and shared by every human being to some degree, and in this hedonistic culture, their negative influence is growing at alarming rates . . . but regardless of the fear you’re facing now, personal faith in Jesus Christ offers redemption from every negative form that fear can take.” @GallaghersPen (Click here to Tweet)


Check out Ron’s book, “Right Side Up Thinking in an Upside Down World ~ Looking at the World through the Lens of Biblical Truth”

Click HERE for details … 


© 2019 Gallagher’s Pen, Ronald L. Gallagher, Ed.S.  All rights reserved.

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About Ron Gallagher, Ed.S

Author, Speaker, Bible Teacher, Humorist, Satirist, Blogger ... "Right Side Up Thinking ~ In an Upside Down World." For Ron's full bio, go to GallaghersPen.com/about/
This entry was posted in Devotional, Faith, Family, and Culture, Forgiveness, Humor Turned to Insight, In the News, Insights, Right Side Up and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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