Stay Safe And Don’t Fear

The rocks were slippery. I knew I’d fall into the ocean if I climbed on them. I imagined the violent waves sweeping me away before my beloved even knew I was gone. So, I stayed safe and didn’t venture into the unknown. After all, no lifeguards were on duty to rescue me.

That’s my personality. It’s safe. I like to follow the rules, upset the fewest amount of people as possible, and dangle on the edge without inviting conflict or rage. I want the freedom to be myself without the fear of outside drama. But in this world of opinionated criticism, I find myself staying safe. I’m still, when I should run. I’m silent, when I should speak. And I’m distant, when I should seek reconciliation.

Can you relate?

The world around us grows more volatile each day. Saying the wrong thing at the wrong time can get you “canceled” or worse … killed. This reality makes Roosevelt’s famous statement, “We have nothing to fear, but fear itself,” wax untrue for our times. We have lots to fear, making it necessary for us to embrace caution.

Since we are admonished, in both secular and spiritual arenas, not to function out of fear, we need to follow that advice. Realizing sometimes we are called to speak up and sometimes to stand down. Sometimes to venture out on the slippery rocks and at other times, to recognize the obvious danger. Knowing the difference requires wisdom and self-control.

For God gave us a spirit not of fear, but of power and love and self-control. 2 Timothy 1:7 ESV

A few reminders:

1. Not every fight is ours – My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires. James 1:19-20

2. God calls specific people to specific causes – As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace. 1Pe 4:10

3. We don’t need to right every wrong. Sometimes it’s best to remain quiet – Even fools are thought wise if they keep silent. And discerning if they hold their tongues. Proverbs 17:28

4. Lack of self-control is not an honorable quality – Like a city whose walls are broken through, is a person who lacks self-control. Proverbs 25:28

We don’t witness much wisdom or self-control these days.

I can point to politics, the riots, violence, negativism, and hatred to make an obvious point, but lack of self-control is manifested in our everyday lives as we give way to anger, drinking, arguments, and pride.

I’m reminded of Philippians 2:3-4: Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.

Jesus showed a wide range of emotions. He was angry, sad, happy, and fatigued. He chastised hypocritical people, taught to exhaustion, and served the common man despite possible persecution or fear. When our focus remains on a larger, more significant picture, it helps to keep our words and actions in line with good values and character.

The Bible tells us to look out for the interests of other people over our own. Instead of getting rattled by fear, be alert to danger. Live a life that is respectful towards others and promotes peace over pride. After all it’s a heart of pride that causes us to place more importance on the temporary, than the eternal.

The greatest example we can offer people is to exemplify peace in the midst of uncertainty. When we act counter-culturally, we represent Christ to a world filled with turmoil and confusion.

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10

Comments

  1. Val Sarkady says

    Well done, my friend. Loved your thoughts and verses to back up your thoughts! Or did your thoughts come out of your verses??

  2. Jewell Utt Jewell Utt says

    Lol … thoughts then verses. And next time I’m going to climb the rocks. Thanks for reading and sharing.

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