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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Walking through our fears

Response will ask to behold one thing above all else—the gift of faith

Taking an inventory of personal fears makes for an interesting exercise. If you sign onto the project, be sure to ask yourself where your particular fears seem to originate.

And don't forget to look for patterns to the things that scare you. See if some desire to control events is any part of the list. Notice those fears that revolve around interpreting people who are unlike you in some way.

Chances are good that our personal fears say more about us than they do about the object to which they are supposed to be directed. In fact, our fears can inform our worldview to the degree that some days we expect danger or evil around every next corner. Often we look in the direction of another person and expect the worst. Is that person an ally or a threat to my understanding of life and my sense of right and wrong?

There is plenty of variety to our fears. We may fear death, but just as easily we can fear life and the risk that accompanies living with adventure. We fear ridicule, humiliation and failure. Sleeping on the first floor with the window open in the summertime frightens me more than I like to admit. Mammograms, prostate tests, spiders, crime and a 102-degree fever in a child may all create some measure of fear.


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