The decisions we make as a church, as followers of Jesus, over the next few years will determine what will be said about us in the future. The first thing we said is that if we are going to be agents of change in God’s world, we must take the posture of listening. We need to start listening.
In order to listen, we need to stop fearing. We are surrounded by a culture of fear that keeps us from hearing the stories of others. The narrative that goes along with a culture of fear starts with us being afraid. Our primary response to anything that is unfamiliar has become fear. Our default position in politics has become fear. We have let our fears determine our living. We start listening when we stop fearing.
Irrational fear is a false idol that erodes our confidence in all that is good and beautiful. It dehumanizes those around us. It forces us to believe that their story is not worth hearing. And if it is not worth hearing, they have no value in our lives. Fear is giving away the keys to your soul to something or someone that is not God.
Romans 8:15 says, “You didn’t receive a spirit of slavery to lead you back again into fear, but you received a Spirit that shows you are adopted as his children. With this Spirit, we cry, ‘Abba, Father.’” This is why fear has to go. As followers of Jesus, our life narrative does not begin with fear. It starts with love. Love for one another. Love for the neighbor. Love for the enemy. We need to stop fearing.