Archive for August, 2013

August 1, 2013

I copied from someone who appears to know what fear is.

When my husband had started to lose impulse control and I was finding myself more and more frequently facing dangerous situations with him, I started living a life of almost constant fear. The stress was almost unbearable. I couldn’t sleep at night for months at a time. I was honestly concerned that I’d wake up some night and find my husband stabbing me in my bed with a kitchen knife (or some other equally awful thing happening). Due to his sometimes violent mood swings and sudden crazy impulses, and according to doctors, counselors and social workers, this wasn’t outside of the realm of possibility for someone with his condition (Frontotemporal Lobe Dementia, aka “FTD”).
I met several times with my pastor at the time and finally one day he said, “Debi, I hear you constantly using the word ‘fear.’ All fear is a lack of faith, so consequently all fear is sin. You’re seeped in sin right now and need to repent of it before you’re going to find healing in this situation with your husband.”
I was dumb-founded. Here I was trying to negotiate a life-threatening situation and all he could do was point out that he thought I had a bad attitude. Hm.
He mumbled on for awhile longer about my need to repent, etc., when I finally stopped him.
I said, “If you were in the woods with an angry, wild bear chasing you, you’d probably feel more than a little bit of fear. Now, would that fear be sin? No, it wouldn’t … that fear would be a God-given response to a dangerous situation, given to motivate you to take action to protect yourself. If you were to say to the bear — as it was barreling down on you, ready to eat its lunch (you!): ‘No, Mr. Bear, I don’t believe you’re going to hurt me because God has promised to protect me,’ that would be absolutely ridiculous. God protects you from the bear by alerting you to danger and providing the fear response to inspire you to RUN!”
The pastor looked at me for a bit … and then I could see a lightbulb moment happening in his mind. “Oh, I see what you mean.”
So I continued. “I’m living with a bear in my house. It sleeps in my bedroom, prowls around endlessly, and at any moment could spring and hurt myself or my children. The fear I feel isn’t sin … it’s a God-given response to a dangerous situation that motivates me to want to take some sort of action to provide a safe living environment for my family.”
That poor pastor was so shaken up. His whole “fear equals sin” doctrine was a basic part of his ideas about healing and deliverance. I found through the past couple of years, some of the most hurtful things said to me in the midst of everything that was happening came from the mouth of this particular man. His doctrines that seemed sort of dumb – and appeared on the surface to be relatively harmless – were honestly some of the biggest detriments to my spiritual/mental/emotional healing.
Needless to say, in order to find sanity and healing, I needed to find a new church.

Fear (terror) of the Lord is called if you are not a follower of Christ. Other than that, fear of the Lord is reverence of his awesome power and might and true love for having saved us.