People are funny creatures in the way they manage risk.
Did you know that you’re more likely to get struck by lightning or win the lottery than to die in a plane crash? (You’re also more likely to become the next president of the United States, too!) Those facts aren’t enough to convince millions of people with fears of flying to get on board.
After September 11, the number of people flying dropped dramatically. As people stopped flying, they started driving. The Michigan Transportation Research Institute studied the three months following 9/11 and discovered something astounding: the increased number of miles driven in just three months caused an additional 1,018 fatalities due to car crashes. Almost a third of the number of people killed in the terrorist attacks died because of fear!
Casinos and lotteries thrive because people are terrible at risk management. When you buy life insurance, you’re effectively betting that you’ll die sooner than the guy selling you insurance thinks you will! (Sorry, Jeff!) Its purpose is to help us mitigate risks that we don’t expect and that we don’t want to even think about!
There are two lessons from these thoughts:
1. Fear is not the best motivator for making wise decisions. (Read 1 John 4:17-18). If your spiritual life is muddled with fear, take action to let God’s perfect love drive it out.
2. We are head/heart creatures. If you’re afraid of flying, chances are, no matter how many times I tell you the statistics, your head won’t convince your heart. If I can tell you the statistics and work on your heart-courage and vision-together, we can make it through. When we share our faith, we must think about the gospel in the head and in the heart.