In my Leadership Communication class last Saturday, I had one of the students read this passage to look at the communications principles contained therein:
“So do not be afraid of them, for there is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known. What I tell you in the dark, speak in the daylight; what is whispered in your ear, proclaim from the roofs. Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows" (Matthew 10:26-31, emphasis added).
I use this passage to encourage people to use social media to share their stories and testimonies of God's goodness to them. As you can see, Jesus warned, even commanded, His disciples not to be afraid as they made the effort to speak the words of Jesus.
That led to the question I asked the class and the question I will ask you: What would you do if you were not afraid?
When I raise the issue of fear, many people deny there is any fear in their life, and that may be true, although doubtful. Usually that indicates that the "fearless one" has shrunk his or her world down to its most predictable and manageable components. Be that as it may, my experience is that fear is our constant companion. What's more, if Jesus warned against being afraid three times in six verses, I would say that He saw fear as a great problem in the lives of His flock.
Jesus urged His listeners to have their fear properly placed, and that would be on the great enemy of our souls, the evil one. That is the one we should fear due to his power to deceive and enslave. There is no need, according to Jesus, to fear our Heavenly Father. He is with us and values us more than all of His other creation.
So let me ask again: What would you do if you were not afraid?
- What would you write?
- Where would you go?
- What commitments would you make?
- What song would you sing?
- What ministry or business would you start?
- With whom would you build a relationship? With whom would you stop building a relationship?
I will let you meditate on the answers to those questions in the coming week, but perhaps even before you ask those questions, you may want to ask the Lord one other question that will serve as a primer: Lord, am I afraid? Don't be too quick to find the answer to that questions. If you conclude that the answer is yes, only then will my question "what would you do if you were not afraid?" make sense. Have a blessed, fear-free week as you pursue the answer to my question(s).