Monday, March 12, 2007

The Motivation of Fear

Looking back at Mark 14:53-72, we find that the Jewish leaders were "looking for testimony against Jesus to put him to death (vs. 55)." In the same passage, we find that Peter denied his association with Jesus (vs. 66-72). Both the Jewish leaders and Peter (along with the other disciples) were motivated in-part by fear. The Jewish leaders were afraid of Jesus' "following" and the threat that he posed to their understanding and practice of Judaism. We can assume that Peter was afraid of the punishment he might receive for being one of Jesus' followers. Surely, the Jewish leaders and the Romans might have brought charges against him for aiding Jesus in His movement.

Is fear a motivating factor in your life? Fear can be a healthy motivator. It is fear that keeps us from touching a poisonous snake or jumping off a high cliff. However, fear can be an unhealthy motivator as well especially as it relates to our faith. Fear can lead us to avoid stepping-forward in faith to follow Jesus. Fear can also lead us to work against another person for the purpose of self-preservation.

So how do we deal with fear? 1 John 4:18 says, "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." We are to allow the perfect love of Jesus Christ to "drive out fear" from our lives. In other words, we are live following Jesus in His way of love and avoid giving into our fears.

Talk to God about your fears today. Ask for faith to trust in His love and grace that covers your life.

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