Two Fears

14 …. And do not fear their intimidation, and do not be troubled, 15 but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence (1 Peter 3).

The word “troubled” can also be translated “terrified” (as in how the disciples felt when they thought they saw a ghost on the water (Mark 6:50), or as Zacharias felt when visited by the angel Gabriel (Luke 1:12). Also, Peter begins and ends this text with the same word, yet with two different meanings. The word “fear” is actually the same word used for “reverence” (or “meekness of spirit”)—“phobos” from which we get our word “phobia.”  

Thus, there are two kinds of fears: the one that strikes us with terror, and the one that soothes others with peace. When unbelievers want to intimidate us for our faith, we should not fear themand go on the attack, but rather, we should soothe them with a “gentle” “account” (“word”) for our faith.  

Lord, help us This Day to have the right kind of fear. Amen.