The Supplier Side of the Fear Business
When you’re on the supplier side of the fear business, you continually feed people’s propensity for fear. You use normal and not so normal events to tell them, “be afraid.” Sometimes you say it as plainly as that. At other times, you mask it. You use language without the words, “fear” and “afraid.” However, you make up for this with your tone, pictures, and sound effects. You’re like “the sky is falling” people.
Anxiety is akin to fear. There are many who will say they are not afraid. However, they exude anxiety with each word. You hear it in their tones. Is that you?
When you’re a supplier in the fear business, you follow events closely. Unfortunately you don’t do this to be informed and to know how to pray and act wisely. Rather, you follow them to know of what to be anxious. Sad isn’t it? Yet, there is something that is even sadder.
If you’re on the supplier side of the fear business to make an industry out of it, that would be sadder. Some people do that, you know. When this is the case, not only do you feed fear, but you make money off of it. You play with people’s emotions and seek to hook them so that they would come back for more and more. Then you make false promises and sell false solutions for them to deal with their fear. Sometimes, those solutions are for an imagined, apocalyptic end.
Yes. People who claim to know exactly what and how the end will be often fall on the supplier side of the fear business. They turn it into an industry. But, there is a flip side. Why? For a fear business to succeed it must have consumers.
The Consumer Side of the Fear Business
When you’re on the consumer side of the fear business, you are prone to harbor fears about little things, big things, and sometimes nothing. I touched on this somewhat in last week’s blog, “The Danger of Entertaining Fear.” It is true that that post focused mainly on entertaining fear of the other. Yet, it is easy to move from that to entertaining fear in general and vice versa. You consume and are consumed by fear, always looking for more reasons to be afraid; of things of which to be afraid.
A consumer in the fear business will accept other people’s fear-based reality without question. You will knowingly and unknowingly allow yourself to be swayed by the explicit things of which others say to be afraid. You’ll also give in to the fear in their tone and images. You will be ridden with anxiety. Before you know it, you are buying their solutions. Now, you’re a valued customer. You are helping to keep the fear business healthy and well.
One of the great things about the internet is that everyone has a voice. This works well for the fear business. There are many sites and channels, written and visual, devoted to this business. When you go to them continually without filters, you will succumb and become a consumer of the fear business. However, all is not lost.
The Antidote to the Fear Business
There is an antidote to fear and anxiety.
- Be informed. Get your information from various sources and prayerfully filter them. Discern which ones are simply too extreme to be valid. Discard them. Discern which ones are seeking to manipulate you. Get rid of them. In addition, read the Bible in context. As you read, notice how many times you are told not to be afraid.
- Remember who God is. God is faithful. God is loving. God is a deliverer. Yes. This is the same God who tells you do not fear, who is beginning and end and who has the final say.
- Pray with honest, whole hearted, surrender. Follow the admonition in Philippians 4:7:
Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Here’s the truth. You know God. God has given you a mind of your own and the gift of prayer. You do not have to participate in the fear industry either as a supplier or a consumer. Instead, trust on. Pray on.
Experience God more fully through honest, surrendered heart praying and live with greater clarity and peace.
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