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How Do You Respond to Fear?

I had three encounters with wildlife around our country home in the last couple of days. All were afraid of me, but all responded in different ways. It made me think about fear and how we respond to it. I asked myself, “when have I been afraid before and which animal did I respond like? A gro…
By Seth Barnes

I had three encounters with wildlife around our country home in the last couple of days. All were afraid of me, but all responded in different ways.

It made me think about fear and how we respond to it. I asked myself, “when have I been afraid before and which animal did I respond like?

A groundhog

This morning I was jogging around the neighborhood. Up ahead was a large groundhog, oblivious to me. He didn’t notice me until I was right up on him and then he let out what I can only describe as a groundhog scream before diving into a hole. Fear Response: To hide

A coyote pup

I was driving home from work and spooked a young coyote. He took off as fast as his legs would carry him toward the forest. I raced him in my car and watched as he made it into the woods, but kept on running. Fear response: To run

A rabbit

Our cat, Louie, regularly goes hunting and brings us prizes. Yesterday evening he emerged from the tall grass carrying a still very much alive rabbit. Louie seemed proud of himself, but we are rabbit lovers around here, so I went over to Louie and made him let loose of the rabbit. For the longest time the rabbit just cowered before scampering off. Fear response: To freeze

Applying it to your life

When have you been afraid before in your life? How have you responded? One of the primary messages that Jesus had to his disciples and has to us is, “Don’t be afraid.”

Yet, that’s easier said than done. Everything in our society seems to conspire to tell us the opposite: “Be very afraid!” The news media screams. We hear about the latest terrorist acts every day. We hear about all the calamities around us and wonder, “Will I be next?”

Jesus came to set us free from fear. Instead of fear, he focused on faith. He continually exhorted his disciples to have more of it.

How do you respond when you’re afraid? Which animal do you most resemble? Here are 33 verses helping us get God’s perspective on fear.

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