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Healthy Fear – A Good Scare

fear-of-the-lordWho Said It … J. Mark Bertrand

While in college, Mark received a form rejection letter in response to his first attempt at writing a novel—about spies. He says he’s now grateful that it never saw the light of day! While obtaining a master’s degree in Houston, he was production editor of Gulf Coast magazine. Mark now lives with his wife Laurie in South Dakota. He’s the fiction editor at Relief Journal and teaches at Worldview Academy, an academic summer camp for high school students.

What He Said … A Good Scare

My lifelong interest in guns meant that, early on, I devoured everything I could read about weapons, studying how they work and what they’re capable of doing. I learned how to fire them safely and accurately, how to take them apart and clean them, and most importantly what you must never do with them. One thing I never did was fear them. I’ve never quite understood the genuine, deep-seated fear that some people experience at the sight of a pistol. Respect? Sure. But fear?

Then again, I’ve never had a gun pointed at me. It’s one thing to know and appreciate power in the abstract and quite another to be its object, to feel threatened by it. If someone points a gun at you, you’d be foolish not to be afraid. Understanding how the mechanism works (and how unlikely the mechanism is not to work) should give your fear a fullness that the fright of the ignorant never achieves. The more you know, the more afraid you should be.   [continued tomorrow]

Adapted from Rethinking Worldview (Crossway, 2007)

Prayer for the Week: God, I confess that I’ve minimized your breathtaking holy otherness in my mind. Restore the fear that puts my sin and your salvation into focus.



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