No, I’m not talking about the NBC hit, Fear Factor, where contestants face their fears, be they take on spiders(ssshuddder), snakes, heights, clowns, or any other phobia that plagues them, hoping to claim the prize and bragging rights. So, what Fear Factor am I talking about? Generally, anything that takes a Christ-follower’s eyes away from Jesus, to concentrate on alarming world, national, or local situations. That might include politics, attacks on our constitutional rights, thought-police, or anything else that strikes fear into our hearts.
When Jesus’ disciples asked him how they could know where he was going, he said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father except through me.” Then the author of the letter to the Hebrews said, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:1-2 ESV)
And the Bible is clear about allowing fear to control us, “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. We love because he first loved us.” (1 John 4:18-19 ESV)
So, why do I not spread the alarm about the scary happenings in our nation and the world? It is certainly not because I think there is no reason for concern, or I just want to sit back and watch it happen. No, it’s because if such news is a “fear factor” that distracts me from depending on my sovereign Lord’s love, it might do the same to others. If God calls me to spread the alarm, I’ll yell it from the housetops—or at least from my blog—but for now, he has called me to trust the God whom I love because he first loved me.