Sunday School: Is Fear a Sin?
Written by Jenn Arman | January 27, 2013
Fear is an emotion and like many emotions, it’s not a sin. God created all of our emotions when He created us. When He finished, He looked at everything He’d made and it was very good (Genesis 1:31). Emotions are not sins, but sometimes we use our emotions in a sinful manner–such as when we get angry and begin hurting other people with our words and actions.
Fears are split into two categories–rational and irrational. Rational fears make sense; for example, if I were face-to-face with a lion in the middle of the jungle, I would fear that the lion might attack me. That’s a rational fear: Lions need to eat, they’re territorial and I don’t know how to defend myself against them, so it’s entirely possible I could be attacked in that situation.
An example of an irrational fear is that a giant asteroid will strike the earth and destroy everything. This is irrational because there are so many things that would need to line up perfectly for it to happen that it’s extremely unlikely, and fearing it cripples our ability to live our lives.
Fear prepares us for situations when we may need to flee danger. Fear also causes our minds to begin preparing solutions to situations if running away won’t work. Sometimes fear keeps us safe and alive. Remember, fear is an emotion and God created emotions, so fear must have some beneficial purposes.
Fears and even insecurities give us something to work through, something to overcome. Some of our big insecurities can’t be overcome without God’s help. Insecurities and fear help build thankfulness and appreciation. If we were confident in everything, we would become prideful and begin to believe we don’t need God; check out the story of the Tower of Babel in Genesis 11:1-9.
Like many emotions, fear and insecurity become less beneficial when we allow them to control us instead of us controlling them and submitting them to God. If fear and insecurity are allowed to rule our lives, we won’t get to experience much of life. We’ll never have any adventures or try anything new. Fear can even keep us from accomplishing the things God has planned for us. This is not healthy fear.
We can think of this kind of life-controlling fear as stage props for a play. A well-made prop wall might look like real stone or wood, but if we apply just a little bit of pressure to it, it’ll break, fall or we’ll tear right through it. That’s what life-controlling fears are like–they seem scary, but like a bully, if we stand up to them, face them and refuse to back down, then we’ll tear right through them. We have God on our side, what fear can stand against Him?
Princesses, if you’re struggling with fear and insecurity I encourage you to pray and submit those fears to God, then with His help, stand up to them! Don’t let fear or insecurity control your life.
What fears do you need to stand up to this year? Share your responses and prayer requests in the comments below!
For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline (2 Timothy 1:7).