Why don’t we consider fear a sin? Because it is a natural reaction, maybe? So is sex, and we love to condemn people for their sex lives!
Almost every time God or an angel appears to someone the first thing they have to say is “Don’t be afraid.” Sure having God or an angel appear to you can be scary, so it makes sense to say that.
Jesus said it quite often as well, and sometimes it had more to do with the paralyzing effects of fear. People sometimes won’t do what needs to be done out of fear of the consequences. That is one of the very bad things about fear. We have to overcome our fear to get anything done. The civil rights movement wouldn’t have got off the ground if brave men and women hadn’t stood up. If they had let fear rule them our society would be so much poorer.
That isn’t the worst thing that fear does to us. Fear dehumanizes us. It turns us into animals. When we are afraid we will do horrible things in the name of security. Our nation was terrified after the attacks on 9/11, and look at what happened. We fought two wars killing thousands of people. That’s an extreme example, but an important one.
If we call ourselves Christians we shouldn’t let fear rule us. As Christians we proclaim Christ as our Lord, and He says we cannot serve two masters. By trying to serve two masters we will end up undermining one for the other. This is called idolatry. Many people allow fear to become their true master instead of Jesus. In fact it seems to be the so-called “moral majority” acts almost entirely out of fear. I’m not sure exactly what they are afraid of; maybe change, losing power, or perhaps they simply fear the unknown.
The future is always scary simply because it is unknown. We waste our lives trying to prepare for a future that will never be anything like what we think it will be. In that respect the future is always an illusion. There is no reason to be afraid of an illusion. Jesus says don’t worry about tomorrow, there is enough happening right now for you to deal with.
Faith can be scary. Paul describes faith as walking without being able to see. Have you ever tried to walk in a strange place with your eyes covered? In Isiah it says that the servant of the Lord will walk in the dark following only the voice of God, and if he tries to light a torch to see by he will lead himself to destruction. If you are a person of faith there will be no security for you in this world. You have to trust that God will always take care of you. That is what we mean when we say we put all our trust in Him. We can’t allow fear to paralyze us into inaction, nor can we let our fears drive us to find our own way. We must listen to the voice of Him who calls us, and the first thing He tells is always the same thing, “Do not be afraid.”