The Deceptive Power of Fear

In John 12:42-43 John revealed a curious aspect of men. After encountering Jesus, many of the religious leaders believed in Jesus, but refused to admit it because they were afraid of what others would do and losing their standing in society. For these men, fear was the driving force in the decision making. Fear can be a powerful force in our life, but a force that often does not lead to the best decision. Their dilemma is the basic conflict of man in regard to Jesus. We are attracted to Jesus, but hesitate to tell others about him, because what others may say. We can be more concerned about what others will say than being honest and genuine about what we really feel and believe, so we state our beliefs politically correctly, but not accurately. The reality is that others probably feel the same, but are hesitant to say so because they feel that they are alone. Contrast the religious leaders’ behavior with that of the disciples in Acts. The disciples refused to let fear dissuade them and boldly proclaimed the resurrection of Jesus even as others tried to intimidate them. While powerful, fear should not be the motivator for our decision making.

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