Fear’s Greatest Hits

I recently preached a sermon called Leverage Love (Not Fear) at Venue as I thought about some of the issues we’re facing today. 
I think the problem today is not what everyone is talking about. It’s not Covid. 
The problem is fear. Covid is just another problem that the world has lots of. Generations before us faced problems with different names, generations after us will face problems too, but the same evil nameless genius makes these issues nearly impossible to minimize until we shed a little light on him. 
As soon as you know the real problem is fear you can fight it, but until you do it will continue pulling strings behind the scenes until it destroys life as we know it. 
The problem is not Covid, or your husband, or your teenager, or you bank account. The problem is fear. 
Fear produces anger, anger outrage, and outrage hate. 
It’s funny (not haha funny) that the most fearful people always claim the LOVE motive before anyone else can get to it, as if love is the motivator for their fearful reactions. Panic actually reduces brain function and narrows vision. Meaning, panic does not make smart decisions and cannot be whitewashed as “We did it because we loved people more!” Love is what love does, and love makes the best decisions for people. 
Scripture sharply disagrees with claiming a fearful love agenda, and anything Scripture disagrees with should be highlighted because the One who inspired it also (many would claim) created us. Who could know the creation better than its Creator? 
“Perfect love casts out fear”. 1 John 4:18
Let’s differentiate between good fear and bad fear. Scripture says “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.”, ergo, the fear of other things MORE THAN this might be the beginning of folly?
The fearful always claim LOVE, which looks like the real deal but betrays us in the end. “I’m afraid for you because I love you.” This is not an untrue sentence, but it is a bit immature. 
“Soooo you’ve never been afraid for your daughters Corey??”
Of course I have. But I can’t let fear win or my resultant contact with them will eventually cause them to go back instead of ahead in the battles they face. 
Fear can’t win. Fear is a little Hitler. If you give him an inch he’ll take over. We need a few more discerning Churchills these days… 
If perfect love casts out fear, then love simply cannot be the motivator behind fear. 
Let’s try this again: 
Fear brings anger, anger outrage, outrage HATE. 
Fear brings HATE. If you allow fear too long you will hate. That’s why the most fearful are the first to say that people who don’t see the world the way they do in their paranoid state HATE others for not responding the same way they do, or arriving at the same conclusions. They’re throwing the word hate out there lest someone identify their true new best/worst friend. 
Whoever made the rules surrounding the handling of Covid a MORAL ISSUE should be immediately  removed as unfit for leadership. Covid is a WISDOM issue, not a MORAL one. “But people might die!” People might die over speed limits, but that doesn’t make 30 km/hr in Airdrie a moral law, it’s about wisdom. 
Lazy leadership (or parents) claim the moral factor in wisdom issues to avoid the energy real leadership takes, but the children eventually figure out the hypocrisy and tire of the worship demanded. 
Any society that has EVER claimed an issue was a moral one that wasn’t because they had an agenda that dared not be questioned, quickly becomes corrupt. Extermination of enemies invariably follows because of the dehumanizing factor and the “unquestionable” status of their claims. 
You HATE if you dare question how we handle non moral issues!!!
What then is the basis of morality? If it’s personal preference around wisdom issues we have a nightmare coming. Things like the 10 Commandments however? Moral. Unquestionably so. Wrong in any circumstance. 
The handling of sickness shifts and changes as the need does, but calling the handling a moral issue? Somebody needs to read history quick! My grandfather fled from an unjust, godless country hoping to find freedom, and his grandchildren’s generation didn’t have the guts or the intelligence to fight to keep it. He wouldn’t have been fooled. 
All this to say I was an extremely sick child and a severe asthmatic. By the time I was two I was well acquainted with the fear of death in the middle of the night. Trips to the hospital gasping for every breath is not the best childhood, but I learned a lesson I’d like to pass along about fear. 
By the time I was five I’d decided I would rather get sick and die than be afraid of it anymore. THAT, friends, is a grown up decision. 
Fear plays several tracks and most of us are still on the first one: 

  1. “What If?”

Cue every possible random unlikely impossible scenario forever running through your brain and on your screen. The trouble is humans will never have the capacity to deal with all the unknown terrible things that can happen in the universe, but we’re too proud to admit it. Soldiers don’t see every awful thing happening on every battlefield, they can’t do much about that, they just need to do their job and fight their fight. 

If you’re still playing track one you need to hit fast forward. I will warn you that you’ve secretly been hating anyone with the courage to play it, who’s actually faced down fear and found out love had nothing to do with it. 

  1. “But that would mean…”

You actually have to go there. “But that would mean my child might get sick. And that would mean… and that would mean… and that would mean…”Do NOT play track two around track one people. Play it around a track two person. 
Once you go down this path you’ll actually name your fears, and once you name fear it loses half its power immediately and you can take steps to deal with it. 
You can’t deal with a global pandemic until you personally face what you’re afraid of. If you are personally afraid and leading people right now it’s very likely you’ll cause them to go back and get shot in the face rather than seeing the opportunities waiting in front of us. 
“But that would mean…” I admire anyone who can play it. 
When Covid hit I played track one for about half a day, but it reminded me of the powerlessness of my childhood and I realized fear had reached out to try and destroy me again. I played track two and it lost its grip and I started dealing with the issue instead of collecting more and more fear. 
I now play another track on the record…

  1. What if GOD… 

I think 2020 could be the best year of our lives. I really do.

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