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Legitimate Fear or Paranoia?

Even though Jesus encouraged us to “Consider the lilies of the field,” He did not suggest that we stride stupidly into a lion’s snare. Lilies represent peace; the exact opposite of dread and anguish.

Which current fears might be the equivalence of walking into the jaws of a lion and which should be discarded? This morning, I read, “There is a level in every human soul which knows no conflict, competition, or contempt.” A life lived at that level provides freedom from miserable nightmares. Although I admit to being a practiced worrier, I cherish peace and seek freedom from misery. Below, I list issues that do not frighten me.

  1. I do not fear someone simply because that person’s skin tone differs from mine. We share similar body parts, thinking processes, feelings, and worthiness. Each of us is sacred.

  2. Those who refer to God by a name, which sounds foreign to my ears, do not concern me. God, by any name, remains God. Regardless of the words used, I believe in one Source.

  3. The sexual preferences of consenting adults do not worry me. What other people do sexually does not have any impact on my life. I know who I am.

It seems to me that these types of concerns differ significantly from situations in which true danger threatens. What fears do I count as significant?

  1. I fear individuals or groups that promote discrimination and encourage injury to those they see as different. I fear all who imagine themselves as better than others.

  2. I fear lies told to spread false rumors and half-truths. If “the truth shall set us free” then lies surely imprison us. “Fake news” does not exist. We have truth and we have lies. Intelligent beings can discern the difference. Truth matters.

  3. I witness individuals, nations and companies acting in ways that damage our planet. Sometimes these insults to nature occur because people do not believe humans have an impact. Others know the truth and do not care. All who damage the planet frighten me.

And so, I ask for wisdom to distinguish legitimate fears from senseless qualms based on empty values. I seek peace to release unimportant conflicts, and courage to act when action is needed.

Work Cited:

Jafolla, Richard and MJ Jafolla. “Christ Essence in Myself and in Others.” Daily Word Publication. July 24, 2016.

Matthew 6:28. New International Bible. 2016.


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