The Things That Destroys The Church And Every Human Life

Fear is one of the dominating oppositions is our lives. Because perfect love casts out fear, it can also be said that perfect fear casts out love. So, our fear comes to us in the form of an unfocused anxiety. Anxiety, as the Lutheran philosopher Soren Kierkegaard reminds us is “the dizziness of freedom.” And so, many times we are not able to search through the dizziness because this anxiety is so disappointing that we try to resist it. Anyone who struggles with anxiety knows that Carl Jung is right when he says, “If you resist, it persists.”

But what if we began to see fear and anxiety not as the hand of the enemy, but as the hand of love trying to reach into us and bring us into greater awareness and freedom? What if our anxiety and fear are God’s way of saying, “Do not be afraid. I will lead you into the depths of your being and love you where you cannot love yourself.” What if our fear and anxiety of others is God’s way of communicating to us, “I want to show you the beauty in this person. I want to open your eyes to what you do not see.”

I don’t find it ironic that the most common phrase in the Bible is “Do not be afraid.” I think that God has to tell us this because we’re too afraid to accept the good things that he is about to bring us. But, the Good News has a way of taking us through our shadows, revealing our wounds to us, and bringing us to surrender. The journey into love requires great courage because it asks us to enter with new eyes and let go of how we see the world, so we can see love in the dark places of ourselves and society. Just as we have to be taught fear, so we must be taught out of it. The journey of love is the only cure for the dizziness of life, and it is the only thing that will bring us into true freedom.

To be human is to long for love and to long to be loved. And, to be a Christian is to have your identity rooted in the love of Christ. Fear is the thing that prevents human beings from being human, and the Church from being the Church.

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3 thoughts on “The Things That Destroys The Church And Every Human Life

  1. Whats interesting is that fear and faith are antagonistic. Its so embedded in our outlook that it is assummed and that makes it invisible to many. Had a sermon series on fear around the anniversary of 9/11 specifically addressing a culture of fear:

    http://www.newhopefree.org/media.php?pageID=5

  2. […] The Things That Destroys The Church And Every Human Life (mikefriesen05.wordpress.com) […]

  3. Agreed Pastor T – my three son’s experience of anxiety is so different than anything I can imagine as a child, or now as they are getting to adulthood.

    Mike – for me, to handle anxiety (especially post 9/11), I and this is going to sound VERY kooky….I can only take a knee in faith that the reality is that anxiety is an emotion. Trying to figure out if it is from God, or my shopping list, or, or…..for me….just makes me more anxious.

    So emotions are what they are and none should have more power than the other (unless we’re talking love, joy etc) .Nothing more, nothing less.

    Easier said than done. For me (years of sleepless nights later), I work hard to know that days, or weeks that I find this emotion (or any emotion actually) on my doorstep too much, I take a knee, befriend the reality, and eventually the moment or phase passes.

    You write so clearly, keep up the great work.

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