In the fiction world, we use the abbreviation TSTL (Too Stupid Too Live) for characters who do things no sane, rational person would do. It’s the character from the horror film who wanders aimlessly (and unarmed) through the dark, scary house without turning on a light, calling the police, or DUH… leaving. It’s the character who ignores the weather report, the warning from the toothless guy at the bait shop, and the misgivings of his hapless wife and children, yet opts to set out for the summit of the mountain anyway.
Allowing fear to be the force that controls our decisions and actions makes us TSTL characters in our own lives.
And yet, it’s SO easy…
Listen to the news, fill your heart with the media (and it doesn’t matter whether you ‘just get it online’ or you only watch FOX) and you’ll have all sorts of kindling for a raging fear fire.
What’s a fear fire? It’s when you separate yourself from whatever is actually going on within your sphere of influence and begin to respond and react to circumstances that have nothing to do with your life.
Oh, that’s not a big deal.
Really? The Great Depression was triggered by a “panic” on Wall Street. Oil prices ebb and surge based on the actions of speculators — modern-day fortune-tellers who buy and sell based on rumors and innuendo.
Today’s news said there has been a rush to buy potassium-iodide tablets in the U.S., in case radiation drifts our way from Japan. Never mind the side effects of potassium-iodide. Never mind the fact there is no indication radiation levels in the U.S. are, or will be, elevated. Never mind the fact your last dental X-ray exposed you to more radiation than we’re likely to see in the states.
- Fear destroys perspective.
- Fear eliminates rational thinking.
- Fear obliterates the ability to make wise decisions.
As a person who, by virtue of personality, is susceptible to fear, I have to constantly check myself. Seriously, if I yielded to the fear that would like to have its way with me on a daily basis, I’d be living in a bubble. My children would never leave the house. I would never leave the house. There would be a germ-decontamination center set up in my mud room.
Fear says, “Don’t bother trying. You’ll never succeed.”
Faith says, “Do it anyway. You never know what might happen!”
Making choices based on fear is fruitless. Choices based on faith, however, always bear fruit eventually.
What motivates your actions and decisions?
Fear of the future, or faith in a loving and merciful God?