The front cover of Max Lucado’s latest book, “Fearless,” states: “Imagine your life without fear.” I would presume that anyone who read that line would most likely stop and think about it. I did. And it’s what sparked my interest in this book. How would we live our lives if we did not have to fear? Think of all of the things we could accomplish. A lot of our failures wouldn’t exist, because we wouldn’t be afraid of failing! It’s quite a nice thought, isn’t it? Max Lucado doesn’t necessarily provide a sure-fire way of conquering the world and becoming a courageous warrior of sorts, but, he does provide practical ways that we can overcome our personal fears and learn to trust in God more.
Lucado’s 15-chapter book breaks down common fears (such as the fear of not mattering, the fear of violence, the fear of death, the fear of financial trouble, etc.) and provides us what Jesus had to say about fear. He has a very “easy-to-read” writing style and his stories and analogies help the reader to grasp a concept in an approachable and sometimes entertaining way. A study guide is included at the back of the book and reviews what a certain chapter just covered. This is a great tool for small groups or personal Bible studies.
His most common command emerges from the “fear not” genre. The Gospels list some 125 Christ-issues imperatives. Of these, 21 urge us to “not be afraid” or “not fear” or “have courage” or “take heart” or “be of good cheer.” The second most common command, to love God and neighbor, appears on only eight occasions. If quantity is any indicator, Jesus takes our fears seriously. The one statement he made more than any other was this: don’t be afraid. [Chapter 1, “Why Are We Afraid,” page 10.]
No matter who you are, fear is a struggle. Therefore, I believe “Fearless” is an essential read to everyone. That’s a bold statement, yes. But, what Lucado accomplishes in his book, more than anything, is opening the door for one to approach their fears and assess them. What do I fear the most? Is this fear inhibiting me to live my life the way I want to? Is this fear preventing me from serving God with all of my strength? After this, Lucado gives us ways to deal with these fears and then eventually how to overcome them.
It won’t take long for the reader to figure out what the main point of “Fearless” is. Christians must trust God. The root of any fear is the lack of faith in another area. Either we trust God enough to look past a scary situation (whether it be a job interview, a confrontation of a friend, or an economic collapse) or we let our “fear of the unknown” rule our lives and control our every move. Living fearless isn’t impossible, it just takes some time to get there.