Are You Afraid Yet?

Good morning!  Hope your week is getting off to a great start.  My two daughters treated me royally yesterday, so it was a great Fathers’ Day for me.

Have you ever heard the phrase “Sex sells!”? Apparently it does as evidenced by our sex saturated society.

There is something else that sells almost as well if not better – fear.  Not only are we a sex saturated society, we are a fear saturated society.  News organizations are not really news organizations (both conservative and liberal).  For the most part, they are entertainment, for-profit businesses.  They exist to make a profit and if they don’t, they eventually go out of business.  They also exist in a hyper-competitive environment.  They need you to tune to their station, go to their channel or click on their website.  So how are they going to do that?  How are they going to attract your attention?  By the use of outrageous, fear generating headlines. They want to generate in you a “need” to keep coming back to them, so they generate fear and anxiety in you and let you know that if you just tune back in to them they will keep you up to date with the information you need to know to deal with this new fear they have introduced into your life.

Fear is used in so many other contexts as well – it is especially prevalent in politics.  How many times have you heard if you don’t elect a certain politician or pass a certain piece of legislation, that our American society as you know it will come to an end?  How often have you heard that if you don’t use product X, something bad will happen or that you will miss out on something important in life? How often is fear used in the workplace? If you don’t produce you will lose your job, the boss uses intimidation to “motivate” workers, and so on. I have even heard a leader say a little fear is good in that it keeps people sharp! Sadly, fear is too often used in our Christian community to move people to action. Too often as Christians we hunker down in fear instead of striding out boldly to confront the issues of the world in the love and name of Christ.

As leaders, we are to drive out fear and to give people hope. Now I am not talking about some Pollyanna type approach that sugarcoats issues and challenges, but a straight forward approach that directly and candidly confronts a challenge, but does so with vigor, creativity and ultimately hope that we will prevail in the end. As a leader, you do not deny the difficulties of the issues, but you don’t shrink from them in fear either.  Instead, you lead with hope to directly confront and to overcome the challenges.

As Christians, we realize the seriousness of the times, but God is still sovereign and is doing great and wonderful things through His people to set His creation right. Be bold and join in His work, encouraged by the hope we have in Jesus Christ and share that hope with others. Do not shrink back in fear or be a carrier of fear.

We of all people should be full of hope and sharing that hope! Your job as a leader is to give hope to those you lead and that hope should be based upon Jesus. So be a carrier of hope, not fear.

Have a hope filled week!