A couple of years ago I wrote a post called Crossing Scary Bridges about following God despite fear.
As I reread that post today, I wondered how prepared I am to cross scary bridges to love my neighbors as myself. Am I ready to care for the immigrant who is unlike me? Will I sacrifice any riches and stuff for others? Will I befriend those who think and live differently? Will I take the time needed to understand the differing perspectives of people of other races, backgrounds, and weaknesses by going out of my way to build friendships?
Our hate-filled world feeds our fears instead of our faith. God promises to give us strength, power, and wisdom to cross those bridges. Instead of watching and listening to voices that echo our fears, let’s fill our minds with biblical truth. Let’s turn off anyone—politician, preacher, or news talk host—who uses fear of other people or loss of prosperity to grow their followers. We should look different from the world because of God’s love.
Honestly, I struggle to overcome the fear of tangibly loving those who are unlike me, just as you may. I hear the scary voices and want to run and hide or retreat to my own little world that feels comfortable and safe.
I don’t know the best way to move forward, but I can’t let that become my excuse for doing nothing. I intend to do something, take a small step of some kind, and I am praying for God’s wisdom.
Paul’s words to Timothy written in a time of persecution under Nero call me to cross scary bridges: “God has not given us a spirit of fear but of power and love and self-control,” (2 Tim. 1:7).
What verses has God used to give you the courage to follow him instead of giving in to fear?