How to Face Your Fears

How to Face Your Fears

2 Timothy 1:5-12

Dr. Jim Denison

I learned this week that there are 628 kinds of phobias in our country, ranging from anuptaphobia (fear of staying single) and dromophobia (fear of crossing the street) to verbaphobia (fear of words), pantaphobia (fear of everything) and phophobia (fear of fear).

I wanted to title my sermon, “Everything you always wanted to know about phobias but were afraid to ask.” But I was afraid to.

One psychologist said that the only two groups of people who are free from fear are the dead and the deranged. And that was before September 11.

Consider these headlines I clipped from last week’s newspapers: “Doctors given guidelines to treat inhaled anthrax,” “Postal union says it will sue to close tainted NY mail center,” “Teens’ hearing today in campus anthrax hoax,” “Salmonella shipped to Clinton,” “U.S. tests drug to battle smallpox,” “Our nervous nation—have terrorism and anthrax made us afraid of our own shadows?”

Recent Newsweek covers shouted: “Biological and chemical terror: how scared should you be?” and “Anthrax: a spreading scare, the medical facts.” People weekly was titled: “Calming your fears: the facts about bombs, airplanes and anthrax; separating rumors from reality; ways to comfort your children.” Time’s cover: The fear factor: anthrax letters. FBI warnings. Bin Laden’s videotapes. Bombarded by threats real and imagined, a nation on edge asks, What’s next?”