Laughing At Someone’s Fear Is No Laughing Matter

When we hear of a specific fear felt by other people, we can become incredulous about their fear.  We ask, “How can you be afraid of that.”  Worse, sometimes we actually laugh at their fear and make fun of them for submitting to their fear.

Didn’t Jesus tell us to ‘fear not’, and ‘perfect love casts out all fear’, we ask.  Where is your faith.  Don’t we believe His words?  The obvious answer is, “Yes, I read His words, and even use His words to bolster my sagging faith, but when I am gripped by fear His words go out the window”.  In the grip of an anxiety attack, faith takes wings.

The cardinal sin in all of this is to dare to laugh at another’s fear. Laughing at another’s fear is an exercise in egoism.  In doing that we set ourselves up as superior to them at a time when we should be helping them come to grip with their fear.  We should slip our arm around their shoulder and comfort them.  In due time, God will show them the way to overcome their fear.  In the meantime, let our role be one of support rather than feeding our own ego at their expense.

Oh, Lord, please help me to show compassion and support to someone caught in the grip of fear.  Show me how to help them.  You are our Lord, and You want all of us to walk in the strength that Your love gives us to help others overcome their fear.

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