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What Controls Us: Legitimate Fear or Paranoia?

The Man walked His talk. However, although He admonished followers to “Consider the lilies of the field,” He did not suggest that we stride stupidly into a lion’s snare. Lilies represent peace; the opposite of dread and anguish.

So, what worries do we harbor? Which fears should be honored as legitimate and which can 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 frees us from miserable nightmares. Although I admit to being a practiced worrier, I now seek peace. Below, I list issues that no longer 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, and feelings.

  2. Those who refer to God by a name, which sounds foreign, do not concern me. God, by any name, remains God.

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

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

  1. I fear individuals or groups that promote anger and encourage injury to 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.

  3. I am convinced that many individuals, nations, and companies act in ways that damage our planet. Many people insult nature because they do not believe humans have an impact. Others know the truth and do not care.

Although I do not want to behave foolishly, I also want to spare myself the anguish of needless anxiety. Perhaps, without an internal compass to differentiate true dangers from phobias, I would truly “worry myself to death”.

And so, I ask for guidance, which will help distinguish legitimate fears from senseless qualms based on empty values. I seek a judgment to know the difference, peace to accept unimportant differences, 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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