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Seven-Day Practical Faith Blog: The Antidote to Fear

Updated: Feb 3

My heart quickens with every screaming headline. Headlines tell me the latest poll is foreshadowing the election result. The most minor development will be decisive in the trial. This bill will change our world. Shadowy figures are plotting against us. And on and on.

I feel like most people live in fear these days. Some fear losing their rights. Some fear being replaced. Many feel like their lives are manipulated by unseen forces, and whatever happens, they'll get the short end of it.

When people are fearful, they tend to lash out. The tool of this era is the hammer, using force to get our way, and as soon as possible. Persuasion? Patience? Diplomacy? Those tools are gathering dust.

Ultimately, what we desire is control. We favor certainty. We want our side to win, and we wish the other side would just - shut - up.

Meanwhile, Satan cackles, watching us divide and hammer each other.

I see parallels to the world Jesus entered two thousand years ago. People were looking for a political savior who would drive out the occupiers and their brownnosers, establishing a new government that would prioritize traditional values. Even within Jesus's tight band of disciples were zealots who followed him, thinking his insurrection was at hand.

Except Jesus wasn't interested in that at all. He was interested in an insurrection of a different variety, the kind that conquered the heart.

Jesus never got involved in the politics. Look for a place in the Gospels where he does; you won't find one. "Give to Caesar what is Caesar's, and give to God what is God's," he said. Instead of a hammer, he proposed a much more subtle weapon: yeast.

"The kingdom of heaven is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into about sixty pounds of flour until it worked all through the dough," Jesus said in Matthew 13:33 (NIV). Yeast works silently, behind the scenes. A little bit is powerful, quietly changing the entire nature of the dough to make it rise into tasty bread. One lesson we can extract: even one person can make a difference in the lives of many just by the way they go about their business.

Jesus' priority was changing hearts. From his eternal perspective, he knew that governments and empires will rise and fall, leaders will emerge and run their courses, laws will be made and overturned and restored. Everything changes. But the thing he wanted to change was the human heart. Your heart.

One of his righthand men, the apostle John, wrote, "There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love (1 John 4:18 NIV)." You would think hate is the opposite of love. But John makes us think; perhaps fear is the opposite of love. Our fear is driving us to punish our opponents rather than loving our enemies, as Jesus advocated (Matthew 5:44).

Our fear is growing, but our love is not. Jesus would have us to love. We must live fearlessly in the light of love. We must treat others as we would want to be treated. We must love our neighbors as if we're loving on ourselves.

When the 2024 election is over, all will be settled, right? One side will win a final victory, while the other will go down to a lasting defeat, right? Wrong! Things will keep going as they are until we stop living in fear and start living in love.

In our seven-day practical faith journeys, let's pivot. Release your fear. Re-focus on loving and caring for others. Be the kingdom's yeast in the world, and change hearts as you go about your business.

Thaddeus was one of Jesus's twelve disciples. He was a political zealot who pivoted and became a loving caretaker in the church and eventually a martyr for the gospel, not for an insurrection's purpose. I tell his story in my new book, "From Comfort Zone to Trust Zone: How Jesus Urges Us to Take Leaps of Faith for His Kingdom." You can find it on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, other online booksellers, and on my website at

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