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Showing Concern for Others—Antidote for Fear

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Showing Concern for Others—Antidote for Fear

One antidote for fear is to show concern for others. Paul was literally waiting for his execution, and yet he purposely directed his mind and thoughts on the needs and distress of Timothy. I wouldn’t go so far to say Paul had an ulterior motive for doing so, but without a doubt this diversion helped him to refocus his mind and find purpose, even in prison.

In some of my most painful seasons, I too have discovered this secret:  find someone who is in greater need than myself and then invest myself in prayer, compassion and whatever assistance I can give. This action alone always seems to lighten my load. Jesus practiced this concept masterfully.

Paul wrote about it in Philippians 2: “Don’t be concerned only about your own interests, but also be concerned about the interests of others. Have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had. He emptied himself….He humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, death on a cross. This is why God has given Him an exceptional honor.”

The last time Paul saw Timothy, he was very depressed. Timothy was full of fear, even crying unconsolably. And in spite of Paul’s own fears, he showed concern for Timothy.

When Timothy left Paul, the feeling of concern never left his heart. He longed to see Timothy at peace so that Paul could be at peace.

About Timothy, Paul said, “I remember your tears and want to see you so that I can be filled with happiness.”[1]

Paul’s concern for Timothy helped him cope with his own fears.

[1] 2 Timothy 1:4 GW


About Ron Bontrager

Lead Pastor of Lakeview Church in Indianapolis.

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