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FEAR – False Evidence Appearing Real

I was going through some of my old journals and found this acronym, FEAR, that I had gleaned from a bible study. It seems now is a great time to revisit this thought. I feel this accurately defines where much of our fear is coming from in a time such as this.

Our society is entering new territory. Most of us have never lived through a pandemic of this magnitude. “Social Distancing” never existed until now. Schools, restaurants, sporting events and concerts are closed and canceled. Disney and Las Vegas are shut down for crying out loud.

Paralyzed With Fear

This is serious stuff, and it doesn’t just affect our country, this is a worldwide concern. So many uncertainties can paralyze us with fear. The main threat is our health and the health of those we love. Then, a concern that our healthcare system cannot handle the increased strain. And what about the health care providers that are on the front lines? They are courageously doing their jobs for the greater good, all while knowing their risk of exposure and illness is extremely high.

The forced shut down across the globe is putting a major strain on the economy. Businesses are not operating. Therefore, they are not producing income to pay employees. Plus, there is a decrease in product manufacturing and distribution and many of these items are needed for survival; medications, food, water, and our beloved toilet paper. It doesn’t take much reflecting to get yourself and your neighbor into a full-blown panic.

We are all aware that the media gobbles up opportunities like this, for reasons beyond me, to stir up fear and panic in people. I believe there is more “fake news” available at this very moment than real truth about COVID-19 and the effect it has and will continue to have on our world.

Keep Calm

So what do we do about it? Go to Facebook! There are enough news articles, funny memes, and ideas for decluttering your home to last you the rest of the year. Although I think this virus has provided some of the funniest memes known to man, however I don’t think this type of content is helping calm our anxious hearts!

“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” -1 John 4:18

If you know Jesus, if you believe He paid a high price for your salvation, then you are made perfect in love. It’s really that simple. The word love gets overused in the English language and we forget the powerful impact it has. I mean, I “love” a hot cup of coffee and an early morning walk on a beach, but I don’t think that’s what we are talking about here.

Actually, God is love, and Paul tells us exactly what that means in 1Corinthians 13:4-8:

Love is patient and kind. It does not envy or boast. It is not arrogant or rude. Love does not insist on its own way for it is not self-seeking. Love is not touchy or resentful. It keeps no records of wrongs. It does not rejoice at injustice and unrighteousness but rejoices when truth prevails.

Love assumes the best in people, love endures, love never fails. When I read this verse I’m both encouraged and convicted. Some of these things I’m doing well. I’m loving others well, just as Jesus has called me to. Yet, other areas need some serious work.

Called To Love

How about you? As we live in a day to day rhythm right now are you loving others well? Are you being kind? Are you being patient with strained and overworked grocery store employees?  What about your energetic, newly homeschooled children? How about your husbands who are secretly fearful about how they will protect and provide for their families? Or your wife who now has a major increase in her workload. She’s feeding children more often on limited supplies, keeping people entertained and healthy, possibly trying to work from home, all while trying not to lose her mind.

Are you being arrogant or rude? Do you say “this is not a big deal” because you are a healthy middle-aged person? Have you thought about the mother or child with cancer, the elderly man with COPD, or the teenage girl with cystic fibrosis? Your lack of concern could be life threatening for them. You see, love does not insist on its own way. It is not self-seeking.

Let me be totally honest right now. This is no time to be self-seeking. We need to love one another and look out for one another. As followers of Jesus, we have been given an enormous platform and an opportunity to show the world Jesus through our words, attitudes, and actions. We can show the world who Jesus is through our love!

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