Tragedy and Avoiding a Spirit of Fear

Let’s just get this out there: I am by no means an expert. This is just one man’s humble opinion. But, as a nation, I’m slightly disturbed when I look at the reactions to tragedy lately. What I see is a nation fearful of all the possibilities. A nation fearful without researching the issues, willing to give up rights with no regard to reason.

This all started with September 11th. Everyone, shocked by the terror attacks, wanted revenge and the feeling of security. In response, we started wars and gave up freedoms. All for a good cause, but all very reactionary.

The question is: why do we need to give up these rights, and what has giving up these rights prevented? The second question is unanswerable. The first question is typically answered with “safety” or “we trust our government”. But why?

With Newtown, everyone was appalled an individual would go kill children. Immediately after the shooting polls showed 57% of the US wanted to increase gun control. Just 3-4 months later, that number has decrease by 10% down to 47%. We saw a NY Governor demanding they limit clips to 7 rounds only, getting the action he wanted. Two months later, the law is declared a mistake by the same individual who wrote it. Why, you ask? Because he admitted that it is was unreasonable and due diligence wasn’t done when writing the law.

Now with Boston, we have increased talk of more surveillance and tighter restrictions on big events. I’m not saying this is a bad idea. But, how about instead of being reactionary and demanding action, we take a step back. Why is it necessary on the eve of a massive tragedy to speculate on the scenarios? Why can we not spend these days mourning for the victims hurt and hearing their stories. Once the dust settles, a discussion can be had on how the tragedy could have been prevented.

Too often we react with outrage and demands for change, only later to realize this outrage and the demands didn’t get us any closer to a solution. Why do we react this way? I think we’re living in fear. Fear of the unknown. We’re too quick to embrace measures that give us the feeling of security we want, even if we deep down know it is only an illusion of safety. We need to quit living in fear and reacting. I believe there is a great Biblical basis for this, and personally think that Jesus fella was onto something.

Not only does this feeling manifest in these national tragedies, but it is rooted in each individuals paranoia and individual worries and fears. We are constantly worrying out our day-to-day lives. Living in fear is like a sickness, it poisons you and those around you. We need to stop it. The only thing that can eliminate living in fear is trusting that God will provide. Leaning on his promises.

So as the nation is outraged, fearful, and upset, I choose to trust that God has bigger plans. I choose to look forward, think rationally, and avoid letting my mind and the people around me be poisoned and paralyzed by the trials of life. I choose that, because according to my God, that’s the only way to live. Erase fear in your life.