"Thou shalt not be afraid"

During the late war, an officer referred to an occasion on which, at a stated hour, he had to lead his men "over the top." Being troubled by arguments of fear and apprehension, he turned to the ninety-first psalm, and found fresh light in the well-known verse, "Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day." The officer said that this verse had hitherto conveyed to him a sense of safety and protection. Now, he saw the words, "Thou shalt not be afraid," in the additional light of a command, one in every way as imperative as the "Thoushalt-nots" of the Mosaic Decalogue. It now appeared to him just as disobedient to express fear as it would be to express anger, pride, or any other carnal belief of the flesh. Soldierlike, he at once resolved to rise in response to this behest of Love; and, strengthened by this sincere desire to obey and trust, he was completely freed from the fear. When the time came, this officer and his men went into action, and every one of them returned in safety.

"Be not afraid" was frequently on the lips of Jesus when he addressed his disciples and those who sought healing. According to the Revelator, one of the first beliefs to be cast into "the lake of fire" is this sense of fear, from which human thought needs to be purified. Fear is essentially materialistic. Our Leader says in "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" (p. 532): "Fear was the first manifestation of the error of material sense. Thus error began and will end the dream of matter." The self-assertiveness of fear vanished before the Way-shower's spiritual humility, his reflection of divine Love. Equipped with spiritual understanding, and inspired by this same motive of obedience to divine Principle, each one is enabled to rise above every argument of fear; for a false argument has no foundation in Truth.

Just so soon as the Christian Scientist regards himself in the light of a soldier who has enlisted on the side of divine Love, Spirit, he will commence to face and to efface fear, as being an extraneous enemy,—a mere personal belief which he must renounce, and so prove it is not his own. The seeming hosts of suggestion are not personal enemies; they are but the hypothetical foes of Truth. Unseen legions of angels, God's ideas, are always at hand; and in loyalty to Truth, it is these divine messages which should be entertained in one's thinking, that the would-be intruding suggestions of fear may be thereby rejected. The harboring of fear on behalf of others is as disloyal as consenting to be afraid on one's own account. A deeper, closer clinging to the thought of man as wholly spiritual will enable one to meet both these tests faithfully. In the moral aspects of fear, sundry links in the chain are jealousy, envy, distrust; but not one of these links possesses any substance, for Christian Science teaches that Love is substance, and Love "thinketh no evil."

Enjoy 1 free Sentinel article or audio program each month, including content from 1898 to today.

Truthfulness—Its Intrinsic Value
March 3, 1923

We'd love to hear from you!

Easily submit your testimonies, articles, and poems online.