The World's Most Devastating Force
The human brain is the most amazing organ on earth.
We are constantly making micro decisions and adjustments all throughout our day to keep us on the "right path." We drive to work without thinking about what turns to make or exits to take because our brains are excellent at putting us on autopilot. But when there's a 10 car pile-up on the highway and you've got to figure out how to get around it to get to work on time, suddenly your brain goes into problem solving mode to achieve the desired result (getting to work on time).
But you know what squashes that wonderful brain work of yours?
Fear is a thief and a murderer. It seeks to steal, kill, and destroy.
And it. Is. Everywhere.
Scroll through your news feed...fear.
Talk to your friends about politics...fear.
Walk out your front door...you get the idea.
Fear is an ugly four letter word and even uglier when we see it in practice.
Fear and the Brain
Did you know, your amygdala (or "lizard brain") is the fear center of your brain. When the amygdala is triggered, your pre-frontal cortex (the thinking center) drops in activity. In other words, when fear is active in your brain, not much else is.
With fear comes aggression. That's why when people talk about politics or religion, everyone gets fired up and defensive. It's hard, dare I say impossible, to have unity on something when we feel like we're leaning back on our heels because someone is aggressively defending a viewpoint.
Historically, fear has played an important part of our survival. When a lion shows it's teeth at you, fear is the force that helps you run. Or fight if you're up for it.
But in our modern world today, I believe there is actually very little to fear. We're so afraid of being controlled by "ideas". But ideas can't control us unless we let them, unless we submit to them.
What are we submitting to?
Fear. That's what. And when fear takes the driver seat, you better buckle up because turbulence is imminent.
So, what should we do instead? Great question.
As someone who follows Jesus, I believe the answer is love and forgiveness.
When love and forgiveness are present, fear is absent.
They cannot coexist.
When love and forgiveness are the center of a marriage, that marriage will go the distance. Not because there won't be fights or disagreements. There absolutely will be. But when forgiveness is at the center, resolution and unity are the result.
When love and forgiveness are the center of your workplace (it's possible!), there is more harmony, team unity, and productivity. Not because we'll always agree on everything. But when we're humble enough to love and forgive through conflict and offense, we're a more transformative, peaceful, and productive presence.
Don't let fear rule your life. It will always try to. And our culture and media aren’t helping.
So, what should we do?
Instead, inspect all the areas of your life where you've let fear be in control, and decide to take back your brain. Your friends will thank you for it.
Choose love today. Forgive your mom today. Love your neighbor today. Love your enemy today. Forgive that teacher today.
It doesn't undo the past, but it can heal the present.
And the world needs us to be healed.