Max Lucado's "Fearless" comes along at an appropriate time for our nation and, I suspect, for many individuals. In his latest work, Lucado lays out Scripture after Scripture which demonstrate that fear of circumstances is ungodly, unwise, and harmful to us. In other words, when God tells us "do not fear", He is doing so not just to pat us on the back reassuringly; His command, when followed, will keep us from doing damage to our souls.
Lucado identifies various areas of our lives in which we commonly let fear have its way, (usually one per chapter). Some, such as death and change, are fairly obvious. Others, such as the fear of disappointing God, were off my radar. In each case, though, the author provides modern and scriptural examples.
As with most Lucado works, the illustrations are the thing. He is a gifted parable composer, and the analogies that he employs are masterful, especially when he personifies Worry in Chapter 4: Woe Be Gone--The Fear of Running Out.
The topic that Christians are not to fear is nothing new. Where "Fearless" sets itself apart is perhaps the most valuable contribution that this books makes to the discussion of the subject of fear. He methodically illustrates that fear is the root of many of our sins. We fear that we won't matter, so we follow fads and try to keep up with the Joneses. Fear of alienating our kids makes us into permissive parents, doing the kids more harm than good.
Lucado's most solid point, though, is that fear of anything except God is rooted in a lack of trust in God. I like the way he put it in Chapter 4:
"Seek first the kingdom of wealth, and you’ll worry over every dollar.
Seek first the kingdom of health, and you’ll sweat every blemish and bump.
Seek first the kingdom of popularity, and you’ll relive every conflict.
Seek first the kingdom of safety, and you’ll jump at every crack of the twig.
But seek first his kingdom, and you will find it. On that, we can depend and never worry."