The Opposite of Fear
I’ve always thought that the opposite of fear was courage. Growing up, every time I would express fear, my dad would tell me to be brave. When my kids tell me they are scared, I remind them that courage isn’t not being fearful; courage is overcoming fear. So many sermons that I’ve given over fifteen years have had to do with overcoming fear with courageous faith. Obviously, courage is very much linked to fear, but courage isn’t the opposite of fear.
According the thesaurus, the opposite of fear…is safety. The opposing feeling to being scared is feeling secure. Maybe I’m the last one to this party, but that is very interesting to me. As I began to think about this, I started thinking about my life, my marriage, my ministry, and my relationships. I have spent much more time trying to be a courageous Christian than I have a secure Christian. I have spent much more time trying to prove how brave I am, how much faith I have than I have spent resting in the safety of my relationship with God.
In fact, I believe that in the Church as a whole, we spend much more time trying to prove how brave we are, trying to convince one another how courageous we are…our fear still robs us of our security. We still live without a sense of safety.
I am not talking about safety in the sense of “not taking risks”; (that is a different kind of safe) I’m talking about feeling so secure in your relationship with God that you don’t fear others noticing your imperfections.
In this sense, I believe we have made the Church the least safe place on earth. Part of our passion with RefineUs is to change the culture of the church so that pastors, their wives and those of us who make up The Church feel safe:
- Safe to be real
- Safe to feel stressed out
- Safe to be imperfect
- Safe to admit marriage problems
- Safe to not have all the answers
- Safe to make parenting mistakes
- Safe to not have it all together
- Safe to admit failure, struggle, sin, addiction
Do we have a passion to help men and women whose spouse has broken trust? Yes. Do we have a heart to coach and mentor couples that are trying to recover from adultery, or a pornography addiction? Yes. Do we have a desire to counsel pastors who have lost their ministry and their marriage because of poor choices? Yes.
But what if we could be a part of creating a safe place for pastors to be themselves? What if there was a place for them to seek help without the fear of being criticized or judged or fired? What if we could help save their marriage and their ministry before it implodes?
That is the heart behind our Pastor to Pastor program. We want to provide a place where pastors and their wives can feel safe to admit hurt, weakness and heartache so that they can find healing and wholeness. So that The Church can be whole as well.
Question today: have you tried to overcome your fear by just being brave, and not pursued security in Christ?