Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Scream!

Many of my friends enjoy horror movies. I hear my co-workers discuss how terrified they were at the latest slasher flick and recount with joy how they had horrible dreams afterward. When I say I don't like horror films (I still have occasional nightmares about "Silence of the Lambs"), they act shocked. "You have to work up to it," they say. "The more you watch, the more it won't bother you." Possibly true, but is that a good thing?

Should we inoculate ourselves against fear? Should we scratch ourselves with the sandpaper of horror flicks/books/media until we develop spiritual calluses? Should we desire nice little numb spots on our souls where we can't feel fear? Because there are real things in life to fear. A death without Christ, eternal damnation (yes, it's real, folks!), falling prey to the devil's schemes, the wrath of a just God: these are all things to be feared. But when we have numbed our souls to fear we cannot rightly feel the fear we should. Pain is a gift (just ask a leper), just as real fear is a gift. We are scared of jumping off a cliff because of a little thing called gravity.

The old hymn says, "'Twas grace that taught my heart to fear, and grace my fears relieved..." God has given us healthy fear so we will understand the gravity of the judgment to come. But He has also given us a release from fear - the assurance of salvation through His Son. I think this is what is meant by I John 4:18, "There is no fear in love, for perfect love casts out all fear." We need not fear judgment and damnation when we are saved by the One who loved us and gave Himself up for us.

2 comments:

Felicia said...

I am so agreeing with you! Thanks for sharing.

Elle said...

I sooooo needed to read this today. Thanks. :o)