Peter Sandman, a risk consultant, developed the following formula about how we perceive risk.
Risk = hazard + outrage
I would have thought that it would be written,
Risk = hazard
But then, I realize that most of us know the risks of obesity, debt accumulation, smoking, overworking and such but do little to change. Yet, we go bananas when the hazards are minimal but we are fearful. These later cases include child abductions (mostly happen within our group of acquaintances and not by strangers – no child has been shown to be abduct because he or she had a picture posted on the internet,) swine flu (way more drunk driving deaths,) guns at home (more children die in pool accidents,) and healthcare reform (oh, they want to kill off grandma.)
We are easily duped into believing something is risky based on how much we are fearful (outrage) rather than the actual potential the hazard may possess on its own.
1 John 4:18 says "There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear.…" Why is that? Because God and fear cannot exist in the same place. Elsewhere John says that "God is love."
When you think about it, fear drives us to do some of our most desperate, stupid and destructive acts.
What am I afraid of? Afraid that people will find out? Afraid will happen if I do or don't do something? What fear fuels my desperate attempts to control my environment?
God move on in. Drive out my fears with my attention to you and your ways.