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Finding Courage in a Time of Fear

Future Shock has arrived and its fruit is fear. Change is happening on so many levels, so quickly, we can’t absorb it. Consider the issue of terrorism. Since 9/11, we instantly went from lives organized around comfort to fear being our prime motivator. Fear turned into a national rage that then …
By Seth Barnes
By Seth Barnes

Future Shock has arrived and its fruit is fear. Change is happening on so many levels, so quickly, we can’t absorb it.

Consider the issue of terrorism. Since 9/11, we instantly went from lives organized around comfort to fear being our prime motivator. Fear turned into a national rage that then quickly gave rise to both courage and hubris.

It’s been 14 years and we had returned to lives organized around comfort; but since Paris, we have returned to a place of fear.

The question is, how do we again move to a place of courage? Here are some thoughts:

  • Fear has scaled our fences and tiptoed past our gardens. It has slipped inside our homes and taken up residence there. We have made friends with fear. 
  • Fear and worry are the organizing principles for most parents.  
  • Our ceaseless pursuit of better risk-management strategies hasn’t helped. At some point, to enjoy life, you must be reconciled to risk.
  • America has become a bad place to work out a theology of faith and risk. Every question about what is safe enough ends in a lawsuit.
  • We have lived in abundance, but we have struggled to find enough safety to live in peace.
  • While our forefathers fought for freedom, we fight in the aisles of Wal-Mart on Black Friday. 
  • We live in a world where truth has become relative and belief is optional. The center will not hold beyond this next generation.
  • While the world has grown larger and more connected, our private space has shrunk to the size of an i-phone.
  • We have manufactured enemies. Was it our abundance that stirred up their envy? Or our fear that propelled Neocons to nation-build that in turn provoked a belligerent response?
  • We have enemies who are more passionate than we are.

The answer to these issues is not to elect better politicians or to build more powerful weapons. Politicians must compromise or cheat to accomplish things – it’s the nature of their world. They will always disappoint because their world is not a principled one.

The answer is to clarify what you really believe as a person, as a family, as a church and to pass that belief system on to those you care about. If you believe that something is worth dying for and will require courage to defend, start there.

The church calls that process discipleship. It’s something churches used to do. 

What do you believe that is worth dying for? Do you have the courage of your convictions?

Comments (6)

  • Powerful word! Advancing the kingdom of God is worth dying for and developing a generation who is radically in love with Jesus is worth it to me. Thanks for bringing a powerful word of encouragement in a time when so many are gripped with fear.

  • Fear is quite paralyzing and does not allow you to move beyond it menally of pysically. It make s your “enemies” seem magnified; much bigger than they really are. But do we really believe God is bigger. He told us not to fear, but to go.

  • Fear, not hate, is the opposite of Love. By extension, fear is the opposite of God. As Christians, our only response is to trust in the Lordship of Jesus in all things. He’s Lord of our lives, our futures, and our death. After all, Perfect Love casts out all fear. Jesus is Lord. Fear cannot be.

  • Excellent thoughts! Especially appreciated these lines:

    While our forefathers fought for freedom, we fight in the aisles of Wal-Mart on Black Friday.

    While the world has grown larger and more connected, our private space has shrunk to the size of an i-phone.

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Seth Barnes

I'm motivated to join God in his global reclamation project. He's on the move, setting his sons and daughters free from their places of captivity. And he's partnering with those of us who have been freed to go and free others.



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