What does “the other” look like to you? “The other” is that person or
people group that I am uncomfortable with. They are different. They are to be feared. We ALL have “others” in our minds no matter how progressive we are. We have fears around certain groups of people because our brains are literally wired to categorize in that way. It’s a survival function. It’s our reptilian brain at work.
The problem with the reptilian brain is that it doesn’t always work as a team with the logical part of the brain, the frontal cortex. We allow categorizing thoughts to enter our mind about “other” people and we don’t question them. We allow ourselves to remain in fear. It seems safer to be living in that state of fear.
If you had to choose, would you say that God or Satan wants you to be afraid? There is a right answer here and you know it’s the Enemy. I’m currently listening to The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis on Audible and let me tell you, it gives me goosebumps. Satan wants so badly to prey on our fear. He loves it when we are afraid. You know why?
Fear trumps Love.
Fear trumps Trust.
Fear trumps Patience.
Fear trumps Mercy… kindness… forgiveness…
EVERYTHING GOOD can be stifled by fear.
Fear makes us hard, cold and distant. Jesus calls us to be gentle, warm and welcoming.
God never said that we should live in fear to protect ourselves.
During this election season, the candidates will do whatever they can to trigger our fears. They will make us afraid of the other candidate, the other parties, the future, “the others.” They want you to believe that they can keep you safe. This just isn’t true. Only God can provide true safety, even if it’s only in the next life. When we make decisions based on fear, we are telling God that our comfort and safety during this life are more important to us than extending the work of his Kingdom. We are valuing the temporary over the eternal.
How would you vote if you weren’t afraid?
How would you live today if you chose to not be afraid of “the other?”
Who would you give a second chance to?
What stories are you telling yourself about certain people that you can choose to challenge?
For a pretty printable with all of the verses that include “Fear Not” check out this post on Musings of a Minister’s Wife.
Thanks for reading!
God Bless You and Keep You,