Q11: What about fears?

By David Powlison 2007
from Chapter on “I Am Motivated When I Feel Desire” in “Seeing With New Eyes

11. What about fears? They seem as important in human motivation as cravings.
Fear and desire are two sides of a single coin. A sinful fear is a craving for something not to happen. If I want money, I fear poverty. If I long to be accepted, I’m terrified of rejection. If I fear pain or hardship, I crave comfort or pleasure. If I crave preeminence, I fear being inferior to others. With some people the fear may be more pronounced than the corresponding desire, and wise counseling will work with what is pronounced.
For example, a person who grew up during the Great Depression might manifest mammon worship through a fear of poverty that shows up in anxiety, hoarding, repeated calculations of financial worth, and so forth. A wealthy entrepeneur might manifest mammon worship through unchecked consumer spending. With the former, address fear; with the latter, address greed. They are complementary expressions of cravings on earth.

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