What are you afraid of? Oh- I apologize to all my English teacher friends out there. What I MEANT to ask was, “Of what are you afraid?!” (Although I have an English teacher friend who turns that whole “not ending a sentence with a preposition” thing on its head when she…intentionally…asks, “What’s that about?!” I LOVE it!)
So…what scares you? (See what I did there?!) There are all sorts of fears out there. In fact, there are somewhere in the neighborhood of 572 known phobias or fears. There are relatively common ones like:
Acrophobia – fear of heights.
Arithmophobia- Fear of numbers
There are more unusual ones like:
Arachi-butyro-phobia- Fear of peanut butter sticking to the roof of the mouth
Barophobia- Fear of gravity
Genuphobia- Fear of knees
Geniophobia- Fear of chins
No-ver-ca-phobia – fear of mother in laws (which I DON’T have!)
Hippopoto-monstros-equipped-alio-phobia- Fear of long words
And there are two I hope you don’t have:
Homilphobia – fear of sermons
Peladophobia – fear of bald people
There’s a common phobia that I think we all have in some area of our lives:
Tropophobia – the fear of making changes
A study I read in the New York Times said that the biggest fear of all, even above death, is:
Glossophobia- the fear of public speaking (I would be in SO much trouble if I had that!)
So, again- what scares you? I can honestly say that I’m not afraid of much. But I have an unnatural fear of…snakes. I was on a mission trip to the mountains of North Carolina once. We worked during the day and stayed at a very rustic camp at night. Early one evening, I was sitting in a picnic area, writing. The women’s cabin was just a few hundred feet from where I sat. All of a sudden, I heard a scream. I looked up to see one of the women who was a part of the mission trip dancing around and pointing. She saw me sitting nearby and yelled, “Mark!” I sat stock-still and relied, “Yes?” She yelled, “Snake!” I again sat stock-still and said, “Yes…it is.” She yelled, “Come and kill it!” As I went back to writing, I said, “No…I’m fine right here!”
Fear is inconvenient at best and paralytic at worst. It can absolutely cripple you- keep you from being able to live life fully…maybe at all. But God did NOT make us to be fearful.
2Timothy 1:7 says, “For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” And 1John 4:18 says, “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.” When we surrender ourselves to God’s power and love, we can be released from the hold that fear has on us.
So…one last time- what scares you? Whatever it is- give it to God. Let it go and be confident that He can, and will, replace that fear with peace- a peace that passes all understanding.
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