Fear

I read the Bible. While I’m not a Christian, there is some wisdom to be gleaned from its pages. The Gospel of Mark, 8:36 says, “What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?” (New International Version). In the U.S. today, there’s a lot of forfeiting of souls going on. Of course this has always taken place throughout history but it seems rather “in your face” today. People are on T.V., radio, news outlets, and social media deliberately and with unabashed glee, forfeiting their souls. The worship of the Trump cult is the prime example of what I mean.

The seating of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court during an election year by our Republican led Senate while refusing to do the same in 2016 is governing in bad faith. It is cheating. You cannot see it any other way. If this were a sports competition and the Republicans lost because the Democrats cheated, the Republicans would be howling with rage. The Democrats would do the same. And yet, here we are. What good is it for someone to gain the whole world yet forfeit their soul indeed.

The ravening Trump supporters with their blatant racism and hate of “the other” is a prime example of how, many people live their lives in fear. And the biggest fear that people have? Change. Fear of change. People hate change more than anything else. I’m not talking about the change in your pocket that you got at the gas station. We are creatures of routine, creatures of habit. We like things the way they are, even if they are bad. There’s an old saying, “Better the devil you know, than the devil you don’t know”, meaning even though things are bad, change means thing could get worse.

When I was a working person and my company introduced a policy change or a new computer program many of my colleagues would complain and whine like they were being asked to pull out their fingernails with a pliers. The change was so hard on them it would cause their health to worsen even though the new system promised to be better than the old. They didn’t care, they didn’t want to change. I actually had co workers quit their jobs over the changes the company introduced. I know this article seems like a random bunch of ideas but I assure you, it’s all coming together.

People fear change. They fear it so badly that they are willing to cheat, steal and lie to keep things from changing. They’re willing to forfeit their souls to keep what they have even if what they have isn’t good. They want to keep it because it’s what they know, and what they don’t know, they fear. When they fear something like people who are different than them, or changes that present something unknown, they begin to hate it. People hate because they fear. This is what we’re seeing all across the country today. It’s what’s behind the aversion of people who refuse to wear masks during the pandemic. It’s change. They fear the change and what they fear, they hate. They hate it because it makes them afraid.

People never want to admit they’re afraid however. They fear that too. They fear people will see them as weak because they’re afraid. They make up hundreds of excuses why they don’t want to wear a mask, why they don’t like immigrants, why the don’t like gays. They blame it on the Bible. They blame it on anything and everything else except their fear. Because to be afraid is to be weak. It’s why people have to go armed with assault rifles to the grocery store. They’re afraid. They won’t tell you that, but that’s what it is.

“What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?” Better that than to admit their fear. This is where we are. We have a country where a lot of people are afraid. Afraid of change. Afraid of something new, something different. And they will sell their souls to keep the changes from happening. This is why we have Evangelical Christians supporting Trump. Trump’s beliefs and policies go against nearly everything Jesus taught and yet they support him.

People need to look at why they’re so afraid. Really look. Dig deep into that crusty, dark, corroded soul and discover what makes them so afraid. It’s time. Time to do that before we all go up in flame and ashes.

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