“Don’t be afraid of those who want to kill your body; they cannot touch your soul…” Matthew 10:28a
Jesus was preparing His disciples before sending them out on a mission to share His truth. He didn’t candy-coat it; they could be in danger. In addition to the natural, physical hazards of living in a fallen world, they would be subject to evil people who didn’t share their beliefs. He warned that their lives were at risk.
We live in an age where the mantra is “safety first.” This wasn’t the case just a few decades ago. Since then, innovation has been implemented to better protect children in vehicles, men and women on worksites, and the general population from contaminants in the very air we breathe.
Don’t get me wrong… this isn’t a bad thing. Because of advancements in medical treatments and accident prevention, we enjoy a better quality of life than our parents and grandparents. But often, this fear can become all-consuming.
How can we tell if our fear is based on facts and experience or feelings and perceptions? Sometimes there is no threat posed to our well-being at all, but because an activity is new to us it seems threatening. I would dare say that many who are afraid to fly fall into this category. Unless they have survived a plane crash, their fear is not rooted in personal experience.
The fact of the matter is that flying is the safest mode of transportation. The odds of dying in a plane crash are eleven million to one. My chance of dying in a car or traffic accident, however, is significantly greater at one in five thousand. In fact, it is more likely that I could be killed by a falling coconut than in a plane crash.[i]
The argument against the fear of flying is one of the simplest illustrations to cite, but I challenge you to ask this question in evaluating every fear. Some fears are very legitimate; they are based on facts and should be taken seriously. For example, you may have a fear of being electrocuted while using a hair dryer while taking a bath. That’s a valid fear.
But all of this focus on physical safety can distort our perception of reality. When Jesus told His followers not to fear those who could kill them, He wasn’t advocating for them (or us) to neglect our well-being or take unnecessary risks. But He was saying that our physical safety was not first. Our soul safety is top priority.
Is your soul safe? Do you know for certain that you will spend eternity in heaven with the Creator of the Universe? If not you, my friend, are taking an enormous risk. Eternity is a very long time. Once you know you will spend eternity in the presence of Jesus, there’s nothing to fear here on earth.
[i] Ben Bowman, “How Do People Survive Plane Crashes?,” Curiosity.com, August 2, 2017, https://curiosity.com/topics/how-do-people-survive-plane-crashes-o53cN3Xy.