It seems nobody likes nobody these days.
Everybody is mad about everything.
But is this true?
I am sure we all have examples of things we’ve witnessed that back the claim of society being more angry these days. At least there appears to be more stress and anxiety in the world.
The images on our phones, computers, and TVs do not shout peace at us. It is almost as if we are told to be anxious and to worry and that we are to distrust each other. Disagreements must end relationships.
Most of us don’t want to fear or be angry. Most of us just want to get along with everybody. Even those of us with peace and love in our hearts are being pressured into taking a stance. And if our stance is not in line with the mob’s, then we are bullied, threatened, hurt, and cancelled. We are destroyed or we cease to exist.
Do we then shut up and keep quiet, pretending to go along with the mob for fear of retaliation if we don’t? If we do this democracy loses and violence wins. Acquiesces begets change but not the type of change we want. Many take overs started with silencing the people, striping power form the police and violent disobedience of civil and criminal laws. Fear creates a void that demands to be filled.
What about anxiety? Is not anxiety a lesser form of fear? “God said Do not worry” (Matthew 6:25). The context for this is that God’s got this. Whatever this is, He is in control. This is true and it is nice to hear, but how do we translate this spiritual truth into physical reality? It is difficult not to worry about CoVid19. For me, it is much more difficult not to be concerned about the violent acts led by domestic terrorists and engaged in by otherwise peaceful protestors. And the verbal violence and discord in grocery stores and on roadways concerns me as well. There is a spirit of anxiety hanging over the world these days and it is getting virtually all the press time. We have let fear, anger, and anxiety control our cultures. Even behind the smiling eyes and faces hidden by masks, there is a wariness.
Is this level of stress warranted by the current CoVid19 situation?
There are many other people who write and debate on both sides of this question. People who know me know where I stand and they also know that I love and respect others enough to meet them where they are. Here, I am more concerned with the spiritual side of the situation in which we find ourselves.
Emotions and thoughts that paralyze us or that have an unnatural hold over us often have a spiritual parallel. For example, if I fear a car accident only because an out of control car is heading my way, and then the fear goes away after a bit, that is healthy fear. It is normal fear. If, however, that fear lingers even when I am safe at home and causes me to have nightmares and leads to anxiousness and sleeplessness, it is not healthy and not normal. Fear never comes alone. Anger or depression and always anxiety accompany it.
In the reality of a CoVid19 society normal fear may be getting sick if someone coughs on you. Unhealthy fear includes nightmares of getting sick or of loved one’s dying. Chronic fear such as this destroys our spirit, and we end up confused and depressed. This type of fear is spiritual. It is very difficult to overcome since it is not an internal creation but an external one. And it lies to us as it exaggerates its own significance. We start believing the lies that we are unsafe even when we are.
Who is the father of lies? Satan (John 8:44). Who comes to destroy our peace? Satan. John 10:10 says he “comes only to steal and kill and destroy”. He will steal your peace. He will kill relationships using fear as justification. He will destroy your sense of well-being. His use of fear has a long history in his war on humans.
God says do not worry. In various forms this is in the Bible around 300 times! When God repeats himself it is like he is saying something in bold italic font. There is a reason for this. Worry leads to anxiety which leads to fear.
Instead: “And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts”. (Colossians 3:15)
Andy Becker is a retired counsellor and author of The Travelers, a fictionalized account of spiritual warfare (available on Amazon) as is, Stupid Thyroid, a book he co-wrote with his wife, Stella. Andy and his wife, Stella, lead Lighthouse Ministry in North Central Regina, one of Canada’s poorest and roughest areas. He is a retired counselor, speaker, and writer. Andy Becker is working on his second book about spiritual warfare. His first book, The Travelers, is available at Amazon.com and Amazon.ca.