What Are You Afraid Of ? “I was afraid and went and hid your talent in the ground.” Matthew 25:25
According to the National Institute of Health Anxiety Disorders affect about 40 million American adults age 18 years and older (about 18%) in a given year, causing them to be filled with fearfulness and uncertainty. Fear and anxiety is a huge problem in our country. It seems that we humans have a propensity for fear. God knows this and that’s why so often in scripture we hear Him saying, “Do not be afraid.”
All of our emotions, including fear, are God given. Fear then is a needed emotion and under right circumstances is of great benefit. In an article called, When Fear Makes Us Superhuman, Jeff wise writes,
“Under acute stress the body's sympathetic nervous system prepares the body for sustained, vigorous action. The adrenal gland dumps cortisol and adrenaline into the blood stream. Blood pressure surges and the heart races, delivering oxygen and energy to the muscles. It's the biological equivalent of opening the throttle of an engine. “
This is God’s way of giving us extra energy and strength when it is needed. But when fear and anxiety are permanent tenants our body suffers and our mind and emotions are negatively impacted.
The Bible speaks of “the spirit of fear” in 2 Timothy 1:7 and tells us that it does not come from God. It is a malady that can cripple us and leave us ineffective in life and in service to the Lord.
In the parable of the talents in Matthew 25 we read of two servants who use what their master gave them faithfully and wisely while one buries what was given to him. When confronted by his master who had entrusted him with his goods about his actions the servant said, “I was afraid and went and hid your talent in the ground ” Matthew 25:25.
The master was unsympathetic towards his fearful servant calling him “wicked and lazy.” Obviously we can be overcome with a fear that displeases the Lord.
“Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?” Mark 4:40
Jesus said this to his disciples when a storm threatened the boat they were in. Jesus’ words are interesting. After calming the storm by simply saying, “Peace, be still” (pretty amazing, right) He reprimanded them saying they had no faith. Now, these are the disciples of the Lord. They certainly had faith. They had faith to answer His call to follow Him. They had faith in Him as the Messiah of Israel. But at that moment and in that situation He said they had no faith.
It seems that Jesus was saying, “Look guys, I am right here with you. You know who I am. You’ve seen the miraculous things I have done. Why would you allow a storm to cause you such fear?”
Fear and faith are incompatible. You cannot have both operating at the same time. Faith in Christ trumps fear.
Could Jesus be saying the same thing to us? “What are you afraid of ?”
Fear controls our lives when we lack a true understanding of who Jesus is; when we doubt His love; when we don’t trust Him. John Darby in his commentary on Matthew 25 says, “That which distinguished the faithful (servants) from the unfaithful was confidence in their Master.”
Christ has entrusted us with His goods. He has gifted us with everything we need to do everything He wants us to do. He expects us to use what He gives us and serve Him faithfully. Do not fear but be faithful.
One day we will stand before Him and give account of what we’ve done with what He gave us. May we live our lives for Him and His kingdom so that on that day we will hear Him say, “Well done good and faithful servant.”