Nip fear in the bud

My wife Charlene has vivid childhood memories of going to see horror movies with her older sisters. While standing in line for tickets, she would see large, scary posters for coming attractions. Once she was inside, the theater would be dark. By the time she’d watched some spooky previews, Charlene would be out of her seat, heading to a phone booth to call her parents—too scared to stay for the main feature.

I thought of this recently when I came across this quote from the teachings of the ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle: “Fear is sometimes defined as the anticipation of evil” (Nicomachean Ethics). I have been pondering this statement because it succinctly describes the way fear and evil can seem to work together.

During the darkest days of the Great Depression, Franklin D. Roosevelt realized the role fear could play in prolonging an economic crisis. In his first inaugural address, he rallied America with that famous phrase: “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” President Roosevelt’s courageous spirit helped the United States through the Depression. In a far deeper, spiritual way, the peaceful spirit of Christ, showing us the truth of being, can help us destroy the fear of sin, disease, and death.

Facing the foe with courage
March 23, 2015

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