is a powerful motivator. It rules from Abu Ghraib to our
often keep "the rules" because we fear discipline or
punishment. We learn to stay away from strangers because
of fear. We buy gifts for some people lest we lose
favored status with them. Workaholism may develop from
the fear that we'll be insignificant or thought lazy.
Routines can emerge from our fear of the
uncontrolled. Rebellion is often a response to our fear
of being controlled.
we turn, we make decisions based on fear. We've been
raised in a world of fear and trained to be afraid,
because fear is how we control each other.
wonder then, that when we are privileged to lead people
(be they our children, our colleagues, or our
churches) we find ourselves still functioning in fear,
either intimidating others or feeling intimidated by
many leaders fear losing their position, fear a negative
comment, fear being thought incompetent or weak, or fear
failure. This latter may be the capstone of them all. Is
there a worse way to describe our parenting, our jobs,
our ministries or ourselves than as failures?
house of fear may isolate us or drive us into the fray.
It may paralyze us or push us to achieve more than ever
before. In other words, it produces extremes. The common
denominator, however, is the outcome.
we live in the house of fear, we live superficially.
Skeletons in our closets are powerful. Anxiety about the
future is gripping. The need to preserve our carefully
cultivated facades is all consuming. Cracks in any of
this could kill us, or so we think. So we work hard to
build fortresses to contain our fears and protect them
from exposure. We're constantly shoring up the walls of
our house of fear by being competitive, defensive, or
the Apostle John said that "perfect love casts out
all fear" (1 Jn 4.18) and when we keep bumping into the
Divine admonition "Do not be afraid!" (Josh 1.9; Matt
1.20; etc), we might take the hint that there's another
- more productive - way to live.
too few people have found this better way.
way is love - a deep, abiding, life-changing experience
of the love of Christ. His love shines forgiving light
into the dark closets of our lives. His love is utterly
disconnected from our achievements or failures. His love
guarantees a secure future. His love, alone, can deliver
us from the house of fear.
a world where fear is the currency of most transactions,
may our faith find deep root elsewhere and our lives
discover the liberty of divine love. This spiritual
movement will be transformational in every