Put your faith in God, put fear and worry aside

The Sudbury Star - - LIFE - REV. CHARLES NOLTING COLUM­NIST Rev. Charles Nolting is based at New Hope Lutheran Church.

Maybe it’s just me, but over the last few years I’m notic­ing that one form of fear or an­other seems to drive a lot of de­ci­sions made around the world. And while some de­ci­sions based on fear are jus­ti­fied, as in peo­ple leav­ing their home coun­tries due to blood­shed, other de­ci­sions are based on fears that I sus­pect have been ma­nip­u­lated to gain a cer­tain re­sult. The price of some com­mod­ity is go­ing up. We had bet­ter stock up now or fear pay­ing a higher price later. Vote for me or suf­fer the hor­ri­ble con­se­quences. Call this num­ber be­cause your credit card is in dan­ger. Did you ever get the feel­ing that our fears are be­ing ex­ploited for some­one else’s gain?

The thing about fear is that it seems to be­gin with worry. We worry about our fi­nan­cial sta­bil­ity, we worry about the fu­ture, we worry about our loved ones, we worry about the state of the world with all the may­hem it con­tains. Un­for­tu­nately, that worry over time can turn into fear, which can turn to anger, the anger can turn into ha­tred, and some­times the ha­tred turns into vi­o­lence. It seems to be­gin with worry and the re­sult­ing fears worry causes us to imag­ine.

Ad­mit­tedly, some types of worry and fear have been a good thing for hu­mans. Fear and worry helped us sur­vive. When we worry, we hope­fully are mak­ing an at­tempt to fig­ure out the best course of ac­tion to rid our­selves of what­ever causes our fear, and not sim­ply think­ing about how hor­ri­ble life might be­come for us. Fig­ur­ing out a so­lu­tion is pos­si­ble most of the time for fears that are grounded in solid in­for­ma­tion. But what about fears that are tossed out there based on lit­tle or no in­for­ma­tion and pop­u­lar be­cause they af­fect us emo­tion­ally? A sim­ple ex­am­ple might be a prod­uct ad­ver­tise­ment, which tells us you should have an item, or else you aren’t re­ally liv­ing life to the fullest. How much do we worry about liv­ing life to the fullest?

One way to rid our­selves of worry is to talk about it with oth­ers and gain their view­points. How of­ten can a se­ri­ous per­sonal con­ver­sa­tion help us to see that our fears are un­founded or solv­able in some way? Un­for­tu­nately, so many live in such an iso­lated world that the con­cept of hav­ing a se­ri­ous face to face con­ver­sa­tion seems to have al­most dis­ap­peared. On top of that, fear can ap­pear to be a weak­ness on our part, and how of­ten do we worry about ap­pear­ing weak to oth­ers?

So much of this seems to be­gin with worry. Now this may or may not be news to you, but fear and worry are ex­am­ined in the Bible and the in­for­ma­tion con­tained there has been found help­ful to gen­er­a­tions of peo­ple. A num­ber of folks from Bib­li­cal times used the phrase “fear not” and, while it may sound sim­plis­tic, there ac­tu­ally is a way to at least cut down on the fear, and that is to elim­i­nate worry as much as pos­si­ble.

Je­sus en­cour­ages us to cut our wor­ries by mak­ing com­par­isons with na­ture. If God dresses the wild­flow­ers bet­ter than roy­alty, don’t you think that you, (worth much more than wild­flow­ers to God) aren’t go­ing to be looked af­ter? And look at the birds; they don’t plant crops, but do they worry about what they eat? And aren’t you worth more than a bird to God? And then there is my favourite piece of ad­vice from Luke 12: Which of you, by wor­ry­ing, can add a sin­gle hour to your life?

Look for the free­dom from worry and fear, which God of­fers us.

JOHN GIBBINS / THE SAN DIEGO UNION-TRI­BUNE VIA THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

U.S. Army Mil­i­tary Po­lice from Fort Bliss, Texas, have shown up at the San Ysidro port of en­try to sup­port Bor­der Pa­trol af­ter Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump has said he fears an in­va­sion of Hon­durans ar­riv­ing in com­ing weeks. Rev. Charles Nolting says that over the last few years, he’s no­ticed that one form of fear or an­other seems to drive a lot of de­ci­sions made around the world.

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