One of the things that is truly characteristic of our society today is an attitude of fear. Not fear of disease or death or natural disaster or any of the other things one might think people would naturally fear, but rather, a paralyzing fear of what others may say about us. We are like little children who are afraid of being “called names”. We are afraid that if we speak our minds or tell others what the bible says about sin that we will be called “racists”, or “homophobes”, or “hatemongers”. We let what other people think or say about us silence us. This is nothing new. In John 7:13, speaking of Jesus, it says, “However, no one spoke openly of Him for fear of the Jews.” In John 9:1-34 the parents of the man blind from birth refused to answer the questions of the Pharisees “because they feared the Jews” (vs 22). In John 12:42 we see that “...even among the rulers many believed in Him, but because of the Pharisees they did not confess Him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue”. Even the apostle Peter let fear of what others would say about him influence him to do the wrong thing (Galatians 2:12). The fact that we fear what others will think or say about us is understandable, especially in today’s society. However, we must not let our fear paralyze us and keep us from speaking the truth about sin. In 2 Timothy 1:7 the apostle Paul said, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” The Hebrew writer reminds us, “For He Himself has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.’ So we may boldly say: ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?’” (Hebrews 13:5-6). If we will keep our trust in the Lord and always bear in mind the fact that this life and all that goes with it is temporary (James 4:14), then we can put aside our fear and “speak the word without fear” (Philippians 1:14). And, if, from time to time we are tempted to give in to our fear and stop living and speaking as Christians should, then we should remember what Jesus said in Luke 12:4-5. “‘And I say to you, My friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear Him who, after He has killed, has power to cast into hell; yes, I say to you, fear Him!’”