May 27, 2009

You’ve heard of Claustrophobia.  But have you heard about Alektorophobia—a fear of chickens?  Or Pediophobia—a fear of dolls?  Maybe you know somebody with Mageirocophobia—a fear of cooking.  I’m pretty sure that most kids suffer from Ablutophobia and Clinophobia—the fears of bathing and going to bed.  Phobias are real but irrational…and sometimes funny!

I’ve detected a couple of non-funny phobias in my own life that I believe are common to many Christians.  One is what we might call Manophobia—or, in biblical terms, the fear of man.  A second similar phobia would be Circumstanciophobio—a fear of circumstances.  Sometimes we get so concerned about what people might think of us or so worried about how a situation might turn out that we fail to act in ways that glorify God.  We allow these phobias to stifle our hope and paralyze our obedience.

What we need to realize is that, like all phobias, Manophobia and Circumstanciophobia are irrational.  It’s true that man may laugh at us, openly scorn us, perhaps even persecute us.  It’s true that circumstances can be unpleasant, or downright hard, or at times even overwhelming.  And yet our fears are irrational.  Why?  Because those who are in Christ are safe—ultimately and irrevocably safe—with the One who is greater than man (Isaiah 46:9) and who has promised to bend every circumstance for our good (Romans 8:28).

In Christ you are safe!  So the question before you, Christian, is a question of faith.  Will you go on believing that that man or that circumstance is bigger than God?  Are you going to allow an irrational fear to debilitate you?

Or will you believe that God is bigger?


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