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Man, Fear, and Psychological Adjustment.
Today we shall study something which is very important if we are to be able to understand both ourselves and help ourselves to a better “Quality of Life.” So, don’t allow the title of the subject to scare you. I think you will find this lesson both easy and interesting.
Read Matthew 14:22-33.
We have already mentioned that we will be studying a great deal about the doctrine of man in these subjects, in our series of studies. This episode provides a good introduction to this study.
We are going to look carefully at the reactions of two men to their environment, in this case, a severe storm. The men are Jesus and Peter.
Which of these two men: was sinking in the water? walked on the water?
What did the man Peter feel when his environment threatened him? (see Matthew 14:30)
When God first created him, MAN was in perfect harmony with his environment and, indeed, with the whole universe because he had not yet fallen into sin. But, after man sinned:
What happened to the earth, according to Genesis 3:17-18?
Was the new relationship between man and his environment one of harmony or one of conflict?
According to Genesis 3:10, what negative feeling took hold of man?
We can safely say that all men fear something. This is just as true of a king like Antipas as it is of a humble man like Peter. Even all of the power and wealth of a king did not keep Herod from fear. No other feeling is so widely found as this.
According to the following verses, what did Herod fear? Matthew 14:5 Mark 6:20
In the episode (Matthew 14:22-33) you have just read, what did Peter fear?
Read Matthew 14:2 and 14:26.
Many people fear the occult, the spirit world, which is thought to be especially threatening in the darkness. As a result of this fear some people wear charms to keep away evil spirits or to give them good luck. Others become involved in spiritism, astrology, the use of horoscopes, and other kinds of superstitions. What kind of people fear the occult?
Everyone experiences fear but not everyone reacts in the same way. Generally speaking, there are two kinds of reaction to fear. One reaction is Aggressive and the other one Defensive.
In spite of being king, Herod was a fearful man, just like other men. But, since he was fearful, he did not react in weakness. Rather, Herod reacted Aggressively against the object of his fear, John the Baptist. Therefore, Herod reacted as an reaction to fear.
On the other hand when Peter sank into the water he called for help. This is an example of a man showing the reaction to fear.
Although everyone has a tendency to react more often in one of these ways than the other, an aggressive person will at times become defensive in his reaction just as the defensive person is sometimes aggressive. The reaction often depends upon the circumstances. For instance, it is most likely that any man would show
a reaction when attacked by a lion, and
an reaction when attacked by a fly!