Fear does funny things to us.
We once could look at life reasonably. We could hold discussions, share opinions, eat across the table from someone we disagreed with and not want to rip their head off.
But that’s anger, you say, not fear? Isn’t intent to harm, even when it’s deep inside us, never actually expressed- that’s anger?
No, no it is not, and it’s time to get honest about that. We are destroying one another, not because we are angry, but because we are afraid.
When I sit down at my computer, when I open my google plus tab, when I connect with my friends across miles and space, I see fear written all over the internet, and it makes us crazypants, which looks a whole lot like angry.
Let me introduce you to the crazypants cycle. I jest, but it’s real.
First, we are afraid.
We are afraid for our finances – will there be enough money? will I be able to make ends meet? will I have a job next month?
We are afraid for our marriages – will he still love me? do I make her happy? will we make it through the storm and the struggle?
We are afraid for our children – will a shooter come to their school? will they understand the values I try to pass on? is this world screwing them up? am I screwing them up?
We are afraid for our neighborhoods – if people look different, will I understand them? will they understand me? Different makes us uncomfortable, unsure.
We are afraid for our churches – where are all the people? what if we close? will our people hear the Gospel? will it change anything?
So many questions and so few answers. So much of life we don’t know, we don’t understand, we aren’t in control of. It’s scary. Life is scary. The world is a scary place, because this isn’t the way God intended it. Sin and divisiveness, hurtful words, selfish ambition, isn’t what we were created for. So we make assumptions, we jump to conclusions. We make accusations.
We say things that should be said in person. We refuse to let someone disagree. We eat, sleep, and breathe this climate of anger until it sucks us in. We become unreasonable and we so desperately need to be right, that we become rude without noticing. We shift from speaking the truth in love to speaking the truth in rage.
And next, comes shame.
Words come out and relationships are affected in a way that “whoops” just can’t fix. So we crawl back under our original rock of fear, which was Satan’s original intent after all. Work done, he slinks under his own rock, slimy and satisfied.
But there is a solution to fear, which anger and crazypants can never give.
The Holy Spirit.
He’s real. He’s a gift, left for us by a Savior that knew we would need Him like fish need water. He freely gives This Spirit in the waters of baptism. He welcomes the little children, the sojourner, the weary, and the weak, the disgusted, and the disgusting.
“…for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.”
2 Timothy 1:7
Let us lay our fears down at the cross of Christ Jesus, instead of the mob of social media. Let us lift our prayers to Him like incense, rather than battle uphill to be heard.
He gives us His gifts in our anger, and He gives us His gifts in our shame. He gives us His gifts in our crazypants. He never treats us as less than. He doesn’t need us to be right. He just offers us Redeemed.
So let’s bust out. Let’s bust out of the Crazypants cycle. Let’s call fear what it is, so we can put on love and self-control.
No longer a spirit of fear. Crazypants no more.