Entertainment of Fear

As any good morning show would do, today CBS had a Halloween related segment. A psychologist was analyzing why so many people are drawn to scary movies. After all, Saw IV was number one at the box office last week. How crazy is that?

He explained something that we probably already knew about fear and excitement. The adrenaline of fear invokes that fight-or-flight response in us, and gives some sort of high. So this kind of fear makes people actually feel good, in addition to being entertained. I don’t get it, because I hate scary movies, because well, they scare the Hellsinki-Finland out of me. They really do. But there’s no entertainment involved.

And of course many Christians see such horror movies as well, and on that I shall not comment. But I know for a fact that some of them go for the same reasons mentioned by the psychologist.
If fear truly is of entertainment value, then why not do something even more scary than going to a scary movie.

At this moment may I suggest something? How about sharing the gospel with someone? How scary is that? It still scares me today-what if I forget something, what if they think I’m weird, what will this do to the relationship? It is scary, but along with that fear comes some excitement. There is adrenaline rush, particularly when it is uncharted waters.

Or inviting those you already know to church? Or how about stepping outside your comfort zone and meeting new non-Christians? That is hard. It’s hard for me. Sometimes I hate it. Sometimes I wish I could just work out at the gym, and not talk to anybody. But as I extend myself, submitting myself to Christ’s Lordship, there is fear mixed with excitement.

And as I look back on each new relationship that starts (not knowing where the Lord will take it-I’m scared to even think about it sometimes), I’m always glad I took that step. Always. And it never costs me 8 dollars, or 2 dollars if I wait for the other theater.

Even if you share the gospel/meet new folks/invite friends to church to get a fear-high, you would still be getting encouragement from Paul. He wrote that even if Christ were preached out of envy or to cause problems to him in prison, he was glad that Christ was preached(Phil 1:15-18). I think he would probably look at this fear-high in the same light.

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