In a September 16, 1991, editorial, Christianity Today editorialized that fear has its place—but it must not be controlling.
Fear was designed by God to give our bodies the sudden bursts of strength and speed we need in emergencies. But when fear becomes a permanent condition, it can paralyze the spirit, keeping us from taking the risks of generosity, love, and vulnerability that characterize citizens of God's kingdom. … But, as it is said, just because you're paranoid does not mean they're not after you. The real question is whether, in the face of a challenge, the Christian reaction should be fear or something else. As the Bible says, "For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the spirit of sonship" (Rom. 8:15). That verse occurs in the context of one of the most confidence-building chapters in the Bible. And the confidence it builds is confidence, not in ourselves, but in God. The reasons Paul gives are capsulized in words that outline the nature of our relationship with God. We are "sons;" we are "loved;" we are "led by the Spirit," we are "predestined;" we are "elect;" we are "called according to his purpose." And in all this we are "more than conquerors." The message of Romans 8 encourages neither "positive thinking" nor flight from reality. It lists graphically the challenges and obstacles we face: tribulation, distress, persecution, ...1
Already a CT subscriber? Log in for full digital access.
Subscribe to Christianity Today and get access to this article plus 65+ years of archives.
- Home delivery of CT magazine
- Complete access to articles on ChristianityToday.com
- Over 120 years of magazine archives plus full access to all of CT’s online archives
- Learn more