Tag: fear

Fear and Panic Can Cloud Your Thinking

Destitute_man_vacant_storeI do a lot of reading about fear – in the Bible and other sources – because fear and panic come naturally to me. I am always working to conquer both.

Although few Americans owned any stock at the time, the Wall Street Crash of 1929 was the first in a sequence of events that eventually resulted in a wide spread panic and a Great Depression that lasted well over ten years.

With their economic stability threatened, some lost their ability to reason and hope. Some even committed suicide.

Failures of massive financial institutions in the U.S. in the fall of 2008 began another economic worldwide crisis. The stock market crash of that year has now been described as the Wall Street Panic of 2008.

By definition, a stock market crash is a result of panic. “A stock market crash is a sudden dramatic decline of stock prices across a significant cross-section of a stock market, resulting in a significant loss of paper wealth. Crashes are driven by panic as much as by underlying economic factors. They often follow speculative stock market bubbles.” (from Wikipedia)

Regardless of why a stock market crashes, the resulting impact is very personal. Loss of resources you have worked hard to acquire is a major blow. Having to start over again in middle age or retirement age can be devastating.

It does take money to live. You cannot obtain food, clothing or houses without it. If you are responsible for a family, the concern is magnified.

8b29516rHowever, despair is not inevitable. As President Roosevelt said, “the only thing we have to fear is fear itself – nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.”

If a major lifestyle change has become necessary for you, it need not ruin your life. Solutions begin with a positive attitude and a faith that God is with you.

The choice is yours. You can panic and lose hope or you can explore creative ways to provide what you need.

Better is a little with the fear of the Lord, than great treasure with trouble. Better is a dinner of herbs where love is, than a fatted calf with hatred (Proverbs 15:16-17).

The Current Economic Crisis: Don’t Give in to Fear

I am a news junkie. Since 2008, practically all news sources (internet, television, newspapers, magazines) have concentrated on the economic crisis. Words like fear, nail biting, stress, perilous, risk-adverse, nervous and panic are commonly part of those news reports. It is hard not to give in to fear.

The Great Recession has been compared to the Great Depression. President Franklin D. Roosevelt has often been quoted as saying, “the only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” His wife Eleanor said, “He who loses money loses much; he who loses a friend, loses more; he who loses faith, loses all.”

FDR presided from a wheelchair (as a result of polio). The nation listened to him with respect. Overcoming great obstacles himself, he said,” Once you’ve spent two years trying to wiggle one toe, everything is in proportion.”

When through no fault of your own, your accumulated nest egg disappears, there is a natural tendency to be afraid that you will no longer be able to provide for your needs or the needs of your family – diminished or depleted savings will result in a bleak future – a lower standard of living will mean unhappiness or education and experience will no longer do you any good.

Loss of resources you have worked hard to acquire is a major blow. However, despair is not inevitable. If a lifestyle change is necessary, it need not be devastating. Solutions begin with a positive attitude and a faith that God is with you and has a plan for your life – a plan for your good and His glory.

When I became a Christian at age 13, my father gave me a Bible inscribed with his favorite verse. That verse, along with others, has helped me make the choice to fight fear and trust God no matter what the circumstances.

Trust is the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths (Proverbs 3:5-6).