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Misplaced phobias

By | August 29th 2010

By Anne Anjao-Eboi

Many of us suffer from phobias such as fear of water, certain animals, foods, being locked in or going outside.

I suffer from extreme fear of snakes. I can’t even bring myself to look at a picture of any. I was amused when a friend told me she fears escalators while another disclosed her morbid fear of rats.

Much as fear is a phenomenon in our natural world, God desires us to fear Him more, for that constitutes the beginning of wisdom.

A 16-year-old was asked why he had not yet succumbed to peer pressure to get hooked on drugs and he said he weighed his fear of being labelled a ‘sissy’ against the fear of the consequences of drug taking and chose the latter.

Many women suffer from fear. My friend Amina tells me she lives in fear of discovering her husband has a mistress. Her fear is so deep that she has made herself his self-appointed watchman. Every day, she looks for give-away signs — a strange scent, perhaps a different countenance, a smudge of lipstick, a secret phone call...

Like a hawk, she waits for him to go into the bathroom to scroll through his phone. For how long has she done this? Ten years, she says. Tell me if this does not constitute paranoia.

Then there is Deepti, whose fear of death stalks her like a shadow. Everyday, Deepti’s heart remains unsettled until she sees her two teenage sons arrive home from school, safe and sound. Although the family driver takes the children to school, she can’t help the fear that envelops her. What if he crashes the car? What if her sons get involved in a fatal fight? What if they are caught in a cross-fire between police and thugs?

Beginning of wisdom

Eunice got married to Joe because he showed interest in her at a time when her clock was ticking away at age 30. Today, she regrets her choice as her husband has proved to be ‘the devil’.

Perfect love casts out all fears. We must remember that we have not been given a spirit of fear but of power, love and a sound mind.

If we chose to fear God, then we would fear to engage in sinful lifestyles and would, eventually, cast our cares to Him.

God has sustained Amina’s marriage and Deepti’s children. If these women, and all others out there, placed their fears on God and relaxed, they would not go through life in fear and stressed. Trust in the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.

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