On more than one occasion, the youngster strained against the urge to look under his bed. Assured by the faint scent of JaBreeze, he sat upright resolute that the smell of a monster would surely overcome the scent of a spray freshener. Quickly however doubt set back in as he realized this was no ordinary spray freshener! He remembered that his mother once bragged that it even killed dust bunnies with ease. The boy wondered. Surely the innocence of the aroma masked a killer chemical capable of untold brutality towards the innocent bunnies that lived under their furniture! The horror! Engrossed now by the very real prospect that a boogeyman may well be under his bed, he struggled to gain courage to look yet again. There was no boogeyman under his bed.

All too often, we read headlines and online threads where friends, brothers, and sisters are struggling under the choking power of fear. We should be reminded that Paul encouraged Timothy to guard against it: “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” (2 Timothy 1:7). The spirit of fear is not of God. Fear is unholy. We are to remember also that he added we have been given the spirit of power. The purpose of the spirit of power is to rebuke the spirit of fear. The unholy cannot withstand the righteousness of God’s truth. We are further granted the fruit of the spirit, Love. I think Paul mentioned love therein to remind Timothy that without love, one might rebuke not only the spirit of fear, but the one who is being choked by it. Pointing out another’s sin should be distinct from pointing at the sinner. Remember also that guarding against fear helps to preserve a sound mind.

We are indeed faced with very trying times and should remain on guard. Yet, some would play on our heightened state of alert and fan fears for unknown ill motives. I take heart that Paul reminded us that we followers of Christ will be persecuted (2 Timothy 3:12). Nonetheless, Paul assured us in 2 Corinthians 4: 7-9, “7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us. 8 We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; 9 Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed…”

If the Boogeyman had ANY real power then why is he hiding?