The word in this scripture from 1 John 4:18 is the Greek root for phobia. It isn’t the same word as in yesterday’s scripture: “Fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge.” But you can see the thoughts from yesterday’s entry Here.
This word deals with negative connotations for fear:
There are positives involved with fear – reverence, awe, concern. But those stem from a completely different origin.
In the phobus (Greek) case, this is the fear that we can control.
Now, I have a vivid imagination. And I’ve had issues where my thoughts wandered to the worst possible scenario for hubby, one kid, or another.
But I can also come up with all sorts of excuses for those errant thoughts:
I need to be aware of all possibilities.
I’m simply being proactive.
I can’t help it.
For the first two, Jesus told His followers, in Matthew 10: 19, that when they were taken into court, not to worry about what they were going to say. They would be given the words they needed when they were supposed to speak. He also shared the same type of message in His Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 6:25-34.
The final excuse is knocked down with the scripture I referred to in today’s entry in Thirty Days of Devotion from 2 Corinthians 10:5 about taking every thought captive and making it obedient to Christ.
This we can do. To be honest, there are precious-few things in this life that we can actually control. But our thoughts are one of them. (Tweet about this!)
And scripture makes it clear that we can accomplish that control with the Lord’s perfect love.
Fear is a God-given emotion. It’s good. It’s what keeps me from walking in a sketchy, industrial neighborhood alone after dark. It makes sure I lock my car up, set my home alarm, and listen to weather reports. It makes sure I wash my hands after dealing with raw meat, take vitamins, and exercise. (No I don’t do that for the love of it! LOL!)
But like most of the blessings the Lord gave us, it can be skewed if I use it wrong.
Your turn: So far in this season, we’ve been called to both revere, but not fear. Why would these two practices be considered preparation? (I mean, I know why I put them in this section, but do you think they go here?)
Tomorrow’s section in Thirty Days of Devotion will be “That Pesky Justice.” Hope to see you back here, then!