One fundamental aspect to the Gospel is freedom. Jesus came to set free the oppressed and captive. That includes both the physical and spiritual. His onslaught on injustice was clear and still rings true today.
One aspect of that spiritual freedom is that of freedom from enslavement to fear.
“For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, ‘Abba! Father!'” – Romans 8:15
Fear is a nasty slave master. It always takes and gives nothing but hopelessness and worry in return. Candace Johnson takes it a step further and says “Fear will always take more than we want to give.”
Fear makes us waste one of our most precious commodities: time. It does this by causing us to worry and fret over things we have no control over. Fear attempts to erode our faith by seeding doubt and unbelief. Fear also attacks our mind with confusion and unrest, which undermines peace. Fear challenges our authority in Christ as it causes us to care more about the opinions of others than the opinions of God.
Fear is bad and can be deadly. Which is why Jesus has set us free from its enslavement. It can really mess us up.
There’s another angle to this freedom from fear that you may not have considered. Fear can enslave us personally by messing with our own lives OR fear can also enslave us by using us as a tool to enslave others. Which means, we’re still enslaved.
Whenever we use fear to attempt to convince people to repent or we use fear to try to get people to live a certain way, we are enslaving them. Note there’s a huge difference between telling the truth and fear mongering.
Fear is often the tactic used in parenting, getting people to vote a certain way, or getting people to obey God. And the ones who use fear as a manipulative or controlling tool are they themselves enslaved to fear as well. They may not be afraid, but by using fear they show themselves to be subservient to it.
Jesus’ calling out of fear includes both us not being afraid of things as well as us not using fear as a tool on others. If we’re a believer, we’re called to bring life and hope and peace, not fear. Jesus clearly told us not to worry. And all throughout Scripture, we are told “do not fear”.
Let us not be agents of fear. But let us be agents of hope; of freedom.
We’ve been set free to bring freedom. Let’s do just that. Cause ain’t nobody got time for fear.