FEAR! We read in 2 Timothy 1:7, “God gave us a spirit not of fear
but of power and love and self-control.” For the last several months,
I sense that much of our world has been frozen in fear. That is not a
healthy place to be, and it is not where God would have us as His
people to be. We are called to be people of faith, not of fear. I have
heard it said, “Fear does not prevent dying, fear prevents living.”
My family experienced this truth this summer. We went on
vacation, and we had an absolutely wonderful trip. There were any
number of things that could have gone wrong, and in fact some
things did go wrong. But if we had allowed the knowledge that
something could go wrong to freeze us in fear, we would have locked
ourselves away in our house and not done anything or gone
anywhere. As a result, we would have missed experiencing some of
the greatest beauty of God’s creation, including the Rocky
Mountains of Colorado, the Grand Canyon, the Pacific Ocean, and
Glacier National Park. We also would have missed out on absolutely
irreplaceable family time. Many things could have gone wrong on
our trip, but if we had lived in fear of what could possibly go wrong
and cancelled our trip because of it, we would have lost out on much
that we might never be able to experience again, at least not with
as much of our family as we were able to have together. As the
saying goes, fear would not have prevented death (we survived the
trip safe and sound, after all…) but if we had given into fear, it
would have prevented us living out this wonderful trip. Fear
paralyzes, faith sets free. Be free.
I recently heard an excellent broadcast on KFUO, on “The Coffee Hour,” about the problems of fear. The
guest on the program, Rev. Dr. Phil Booe, had recently written an article about fear that was published
in his local newspaper. I will reprint it below. Please read it, and if you have the chance, listen to the
broadcast of “The Coffee Hour” on KFUO from August 17, 2021. The program is called, “Faith Is the Antidote to Fear.” Take a listen.
A SPIRIT NOT OF FEAR
By Rev. Dr. Phil Booe
St. John Lutheran Church, Luverne, MN
With a rise in yet another variant of COVID, the discussion around vaccines is getting heated again.
Around dinner tables, out in public, and even in the parking lots of our churches, people are divided
about what they believe is the right answer.
Nowhere is this battle more fervent, however, than on social media. People have lost friends and alienated loved ones over it.
I’m not going to tell you what to think about vaccines, but I do have something to say about the vitriol
surrounding how many are dealing with it. Much of it boils down to fear. For some, it is the fear of contracting the virus while for others it is the fear that their civil liberties are being eroded. Both may be
reasonable concerns, but giving in to fear is not the answer as it easily clouds our judgment.
A young woman, motivated by fear, posted on Twitter that not only had she gotten both doses of the
Moderna vaccine, but that she later went to another provider and received both doses of the Pfizer vaccine, “just in case!” The comments under her tweet were surprisingly supportive.
Others claimed to have done the same thing and, even more, they were seeking to arrange their own
Why were they engaged in this dangerous self-help strategy? Out of fear. They were afraid of COVID,
afraid of Delta, and afraid of whatever might come next. I would not be surprised if they followed every
breaking news bulletin about the virus. After all, fear is a popular tactic used by the media to manipulate people to tune in, and it is used by authorities to motivate people to comply.
Fear is a favorite instrument of Satan, too. He uses it to manipulate and motivate people to lose their
focus on God and redirect it to things they cannot control.
Whether or not you elect to receive the COVID vaccine is your choice. But, dear Christian, do not let
yourself be motivated by fear to the point where you resent those who choose differently. Do not use fear
to manipulate or motivate your neighbor.
The Bible tells us in 2 Timothy 1:7, “God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and selfcontrol.” And Jesus tells us, “Just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people
will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:34-35).
If you are sick and tired of news and social media filled with contradictory information, political theater,
and fearmongering, then turn it off and turn to God. God provides you a refuge through his unchanging
Word and in the fellowship of saints. Open your Bibles, go to worship, and receive the gifts won for you
by the sacrifice of Jesus.
In Christ, Pastor Clayton