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Inspiration for Today’s Motivational: “Dragonshy”

I think one of the misconceptions that many Christians get from the Bible is that to be a Christian is to never feel fear. After all, isn’t the Bible filled with passages such as Psalm 27:1, “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the defense of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” Aren’t we to be so grounded in faith in God and his Divine Providence that we need never fear anything? If we feel fear in a situation, isn’t that a sign that we don’t have perfect faith in God? That we don’t trust in him? That we are somehow lacking?

Fear is an emotion, and all emotions are gifts from God. While gifts from God can be overused or abused, they themselves are not evil things. Fear can be very important. It’s fear of a hot stove that keeps us from putting our hands on it and getting burnt. It’s fear of getting in a serious accident that keeps us from driving recklessly. It’s fear that keeps us away from wandering on dangerous paths when walking in an unfamiliar part of town or on a hike in the woods. And it’s good to have a healthy fear of vices such as drugs, gambling, porn, etc. to keep us from endangering ourselves into becoming addicted.

Make no mistake, “the absence of fear” is not the definition of bravery. That’s a definition of stupidity. A person who doesn’t feel healthy fear about the right things is foolish. The Bible also says in Proverbs 22:3 “The prudent sees danger and hides himself, but the simple go on and suffer for it.” Likewise, if a person goes through a long life never feeling any fear, odds are they never took much of a risk or had much to worry about.

Real bravery is what Fluttershy demonstrates in this episode: being scared to death of something and yet going forward anyway. Maybe for your friends. Maybe for your family or for others. Maybe even for yourself. That’s why bravery is a virtue and not merely an emotion or a state.

And for the Christian, God doesn’t seek to use those who walk without fear or charge without hesitation into any situation. He seeks to use those who are stricken with fear, nearly paralyzed with terror, and uncomfortable in strange situations…yet also are totally devoted to him and the Kingdom of God. Because in those cases, God can work through us. As Paul noted in 2 Corinthians 12:9, “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” Going back to David…don’t think because he wrote that one Psalm and because he had victories his whole life that he was never without fear. On the contrary, read the rest of the Book of Psalms and you’ll find David spent a lot of his time terrified, distressed, and fearful for his life. Yet the difference between him and what one might consider a “coward” was that he always put his trust totally in the Lord. He always knew that he would support him even when his own strength and confidence was totally gone.

May we all endeavor to trust God enough to step in for us when our own courage and strength fails, so that we too can be brave in spite of our greatest fears and misgivings.

Suggested Prayer: “Lord God, thank you for all the emotions you have allowed us to experience, even ones we sometimes wish we could do without. At the same time, please help me never to let my emotions get so much of me that I lack the resolve to do what is right when I need to. And should my own courage and bravery ever fail me, help me always to cling to you and your Word and trust in you to always ‘take my part’ and ‘be made perfect in my weakness’, so that I may bring you glory. Gratefully in Jesus’ Name, Amen.”