Sunday, June 5, 2011

“Why are you afraid?” - Mark 4:40 -

“Why are you afraid?”
- Mark 4:40 -

By Keith Bunn Jr.
June 5, 2011

In the bible, Jesus asks the question, “Why are you afraid?”  quite often. The one time that sticks in my mind the most is the story told in Mark 4:35-41 NCV.
It says, That evening, Jesus said to his followers, "Let's go across the lake."  Leaving the crowd behind, they took him in the boat just as he was. There were also other boats with them.  A very strong wind came up on the lake. The waves came over the sides and into the boat so that it was already full of water.  Jesus was at the back of the boat, sleeping with his head on a cushion. His followers woke him and said, "Teacher, don't you care that we are drowning!"  Jesus stood up and commanded the wind and said to the waves, "Quiet! Be still!" Then the wind stopped, and it became completely calm.  Jesus said to his followers, "Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?"  The followers were very afraid and asked each other, "Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!"

There are two basic kinds of fear.

There are all kinds of fears that we experience throughout our lives. There is the fear of getting burned when we’re near a hot stove or oven. There is the fear of getting hit by a car if we have to cross a busy road. These are the kinds of fears that are good because they help us stay safe. Protect us from being harmed. I’m sure that was the same kind of fears Jesus’ disciples felt when their boat was being pounded by the waves in the book of Mark. They were freaking out! I know I would have. We all know this kind of fear. But there is another kind of fear that we sometimes mistake it for the other kind and it’s called F.E.A.R.: False Evident Appearing Real. This kind of fear is the kind that most of us suffer from and is the kind we have no control of. To give you an example… Are they going to like me? Are they going to hate me? Is my family & friends going to be safe today? Is the car going to break down on me? Will I get laid off? These are just a few examples, but I think you get my point. If there is no indication that something is going to happen, why do we worry about such things? I do it myself. I have a fear of speaking in front of big crowds. You put more than 10 people in front of me who I have to speak to and I start to get about a million butterflies in my stomach 10 to 20 minutes before I have to speak. I don’t know why. I know that the people are not going to stone me after the first sentence comes out of my mouth, but the butterflies are there. I do have to say that I am getting better about it the more I do it.
Now, you maybe wondering, what on earth does all this have to do with money? When we make financial decisions based on fear, it can hurt us later on down the road. If we let that collector who’s yelling at us on the phone, threatening us, making us afraid to the point where we pay them, where a telemarketer convinces us that we need to buy something or we won’t be popular, or we’re afraid that the world is coming to an end and we cash out our investments. These kinds of fears and worries can not only drive us crazy, but can also cause health, emotional, mental, and relational issues as well. So, I guess what I’m saying here is. If you start to feel a sense of anxiety, worry, or fears come over you, ask yourself these questions, “Is what I’m fearful of something I can control? Can I control whether or not it will or will not happen?” If your answer is yes, then do what you can to control the situation and overcome your fears. If your answer is no, then try to concentrate on the things you can control. If that is something you can’t seem to do on your own, then there is no shame in getting some help in controlling your fears. Talk to your family, friends, pastor, or doctor about your fears, and get your life back.

“Fear can keep a man out of danger but courage can support him in it.” – Thomas Fuller –

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