Poor Amy

Amy has run amuck.

She can be nice but has a temper. Sometimes she throws things around. All of the kitchen ware is plastic. The glassware is broken.

She will call you names like “dirty old stinky skunk”.

When throwing a fit you can’t reason with her.

If not angry, she may be afraid. Once, I found her hiding in the closet. Nothing comforted her.

Amy is short for amygdala, that part of your brain that is constantly scanning to see if there is “stranger danger”. If your amygdala perceives danger it circumvents the reasoning part of the brain. The brain begins the process of releasing adrenaline, and other potent brain chemicals. Your heart may begin to pound readying for a fight or for the flight of your life.

When Saber-tooth tigers ran the earth, Amy protected great-great grandpa and grandma to quickly take action to save their lives.

But now Amy kicks in when we are stopped too long for a train. Or when there are long lines at Walmart. Being late for work may trigger your Amy. Most threats we face are not from a tyrannosaurus rex but Amy is ever vigilant.

Amy is going crazy. Threats are posited in our mind through sound bites and video bites. We hear them in quick phrases. And it drives poor Amy out of her neocortical mind.

Amy gets flooded with one fear after another until they bypass the reasoning part of our brain and we are controlled by Amy.

Fear and anger are not places where good decisions are made.

Throughout the Bible, God tells His people, “Fear not.”

God doesn’t intend for His people to live in a place of fear.

How can we keep Amy from taking over?

First, we invite God to transform our fear into faith. Faith that God is in control. Our likes, our comforts, our wishes are not in control. In fact, God is not overly concerned with our comfort. He is concerned that we become more like Christ.

Secondly, the Bible teaches that God’s people are grateful. In a world of fear Christians live in a place of gratitude.

“Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:22-23

This proclamation of gratitude is not coming from a comfortable place. The context is the destruction of Judah and its capital, Jerusalem. Lamentations is a dirge, funeral music. If God’s people can offer thanksgiving while their city is literally burning, how much more can we be grateful for our early morning blessings.

Finally, 1 John 4:18 says, “But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.”

Mature love expels fear. Love need not fear other people because we have learned to love our enemies. A complete love frees us from fearing our circumstances because God is in control. God’s love and acceptance through the grace of Jesus Christ makes us whole.

So if Amy comes out swinging, let God’s people come out singing.

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