Too often, we see an article on a site like World News Daily, or another "news" site that sensationalizes a specific article, and distorts it into something that scares the living daylights out of us. Be it "internment camps", "swine flu" or whatever you will: the fact remains clear that fear sells, and the promulgators of these sites know it. And the articles make their way here, and next thing you know: everyone is seemingly hiding under their beds.
Welcome to the world of FUD.
"What is FUD?" you may ask. Well, I have a definition for you:
FUD stands for: fear, uncertainty and doom. It's an acronym that spells out the feeling one gets when they buy into it, and boy does it ever sell! People seem to love to scare themselves silly, but in this case, this takes the cake:
Fear: a basic human emotion when we are scared of something. unfortunately, when we are afraid, we go into "fight or flight" response and we don't really think very well. Many folks when they get scared react rather than act, and they go on primary instinct rather than solid logic. Example: a drowning man will often fight the lifeguard because he is drowning, and will cling to anything to save him, even inadvertently attempting to drown the lifeguard in the process. (This is why they need special training to be lifeguards.)
Uncertainty: not knowing what can or will come next often fills people with this, and no one likes being uncertain. It's an uncomfortable feeling in high-pressure situations, and can often overwhelm a person if they are in a crisis situation. At the very least, it's akin to trying to balance a leaking jug of water on your head while running a marathon: that jug is always going to be on your mind, and you are going to be VERY concerned about it.
Doom: the feeling that "your time is up", and that your demise is only a step or two away. This feeling is like seeing a fierce storm or tornado coming, and knowing that you can't outrun it or get into shelter before it hits. People feel this when they feel that they cannot avoid something that appears cataclysmic, that will affect them personally, and will strike VERY hard.
Now, by themselves, these three can wreak havoc with a person's emotional status; combined, they can drive a person to the ground in anguish and despair. Hope seems to dissipate and dissolve before their eyes, and they feel helpless and hopeless.
Why FUD is so Dangerous:
FUD is a severe danger to individuals and boards alike, because it causes folks to take their eyes off of God, and focus on the coming storm.
Scripture records an instance of this:
"And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea. And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a spirit; and they cried out for fear. But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying, Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid. And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water. And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt? And when they were come into the ship, the wind ceased." (Matthew 14:25-32)
All it took poor Peter was ONE moment of taking his eyes off of the Lord, and down he went! Jesus actually had to physically grab him, and hoist him back up onto his feet out of the murky wetness. Peter forgot WHO he was standing in front of!
And like Peter, when we don't trust the Lord primarily and leave the concerns of the world to him, we too get overcome by the murky seas of this life.
Jesus told us this:"Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me." (John 14:1) and he MEANT it. The Lord also promised us that he would take care of EVERY need:"Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek: ) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof. " (Matthew 6:25-34)
We are told by the Lord himself that we are to trust him for everything we need, and to call on him when we have needs and fears. God WANTS us to go to him when we are scared, or hurt, or tired, or disgusted. He waits for us patiently to take everything to him in prayer. God doesn't want us to be under loads that no one could possibly even lift, let alone manage:
"Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light." (Matthew 11:28-30)
God wants us to serve him, not him AND mammon. We cannot serve two masters; he makes this clear in scripture (Matthew 6:24). Yet, when we DON'T bring him our troubles and try to carry the burden ourselves, that is EXACTLY what we attempt to do. And God doesn't like that one bit.
But why don't we? Why are we so insistent on scaring ourselves half into the grave, and wearing ourselves down with worry?
We'll get to that in part 2....