Saturday, February 07, 2015

Fear is a Sin

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As it turns out, the Lord has quite a lot to say about fear in His word.  In fact, some claim that the Bible tells us 365 times not to be afraid!  Understandably, there are plenty of examples, such as Isaiah 41:10, Philippians 4:6-7, Joshua 1:9, and (a personal favorite) Matthew 6:25-34.

The topic of fear, though, is unique.  We Christians love to quote passages about casting away fear.  They make us feel safe and secure - and rightly so!  But what makes the subject of fear so unique is that we treat it differently than just about any other issue.

When God says, "Do not steal," we avoid stealing.  When He says, "Do not lie," we avoid lying.  But when He says, "Do not fear," we take a moment or two to ponder God's peace and then move on.

Do we not realize that the Lord commands us not to fear, just as He does other sins?

Yes, that's right.  Fear is a sin.  Recall 1 John 4:18: 
"There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love."  
Fear and anxiety are complete opposites of the nature of the Almighty.

The problem is that we often fail to view fear, anxiety, and the like, as sins.  We think that they are forces over which we have no control and are dictated by our personalities or our past experiences.  But are these justifiable excuses for sins such as pride or hatred?  Of course not!  Why do we continue to try to explain away our sin?

Now, if my only aim in this post were to explain that fear is a sin, I would be missing the most important point.  The fact that fear is a sin should not leave us without hope.  Rather, it should fill us with joy.  Why?  We have been set free from sin!

If fear and anxiety were forces beyond our control, what hope would we have of escaping from their grip?  But, as Romans 6:14 explains, 
"For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace."
Fear, anxiety, worry, doubt.  They're all sins.  Because of Christ's sacrifice on the cross, however, we have the power - and the responsibility - to put to death such sins in the name of Jesus!  And that is reason to rejoice.