Surviving Fear by Dr. Linda Settles
Horror movies, haunted houses, full-face masks! ‘Tis the season to SCARE! My brothers would always ask me, as I was trembling in fear at some scary movie, “What are you so afraid of?” What was I afraid of? Hey, I had read Hansel & Gretel, and I knew what could happen to children in the dark of night! But we were at a movie theater, in broad daylight, with my brothers. What was I so afraid of?
Pres. Franklin D. Roosevelt, in his inaugural speech in 1933, made a bold declaration that: “…the only thing we have to fear is fear itself…” And usually, we stop the quote there. But if you finish the sentence, you’ll get where he was coming from: “…the only thing we have to fear is fear itself – nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.”
It seems that the only thing we need to fear is what’s going on in the dark night of our own minds. Those things that seem to go bump in the night, but there’s no one there. That sensation of foreboding, that something bad is going to happen. Nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror. So, in essence, it’s the thought that scares us, not the object itself. Think about it, how many times have you been afraid of something that did not come to pass? Yeah, me too!
In that movie theater, I had nothing to fear but my own thoughts. The monster wasn’t going to jump out from the screen and get me. The blood was fake, the monster’s slime – fake. All of it was just movie props, but it sure had me shaking in my seat. What I was dealing with was FEAR – False Evidence Appearing Real!
I wonder how many times we have given in to the tricks (not treats) of the enemy, the devil, and become full of fear. Church, it’s time for us to stop falling for the tricks of the devil and start feeding on the treats of the truth, the Word of God.
Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—
meditate on these things.
Philippians 4:8, NKJV
Train your mind to focus on the things of God and watch what a difference it makes in how you go through life. They say that it takes more energy to frown than to smile, so stop working so hard, leave fear behind, and smile! The God of the universe loves YOU!
This Sunday we will continue in the sermon series: I’m a Survivor by talking about Surviving Fear. To register for worship, you can sign up at https://rsvp.church/r/gVufUAP4 . You can also join us online at 10:00am. For online worship go to www.umcgt.org.
Think Pink! Would you join me in closing out Breast Cancer Awareness Month by wearing pink on October 31? And as a 22-year survivor (praise God!) I encourage you to self-check, encourage someone else to get checked out, remember those we lost along the way, and celebrate survivors. Think Pink! (Oh, and if your little ones would like to wear their costumes to church instead of pink on Oct. 31, why not?)
On November 7 we will celebrate All Souls Sunday. If you would like to honor or remember someone as a part of the United Methodist Women’s candle lighting celebration, please see the display in the lobby or contact the church office (314-469-6740) for more information.
May God bless you and keep you!