The word “panic” means “a sudden, overpowering fright” and often is used for the fear or terror that causes a group of people to flee danger.
Think of how you walk out of a movie theater after a movie is over. What would happen if there was a fire in the movie theater during a movie? What do you think people might do? What do you hope they would do?
We talk about the effect of panic on the stock market sometimes. What would that be like? Have you observed economic panic in your native country or the U.S.?
Have you ever been in a situation where there was panic in a group? What was it like? Did people control their panic or did they become out-of-control or unreasonable? Is panic beneficial in some situations? Explain.
Preparation can reduce panic in an emergency. Have you tried to prepare yourself for frightening situations? Do you plan for fire safety or medical emergencies? Have you been trained in first aid or CPR? Did you parents train you to handle emergencies as a child? Do you train your own children? Have you had training at work to handle emergencies?
Sometimes we say of ourselves, “I’m panicking about . . . . something.” It could be caused by a test, a family situation, work pressure or trying to get a visa. Do you sometimes feel panic about the stresses in your life? What kind of situations can create a feeling of panic for you? How do you respond to this kind of feeling? How can you prevent panic before it happens?
What does panic feel like in your body? How do you feel after the panic is over?
Do you know what a “panic button” or “panic attack” are? Do you use phrases like this in your native language?
The Bible is full of stories of people in frightening situations, often war. Paul, a writer, uses the metaphor of a soldier’s armor for how he prepares for spiritual war - a kind of war that every person fights everyday.
“Put on the full armor of God, that you may be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but . . . against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.” Here’s the armor:
. . . . covers the abdomen
Righteousness . . . covers the chest
The gospel of peace . . . . covers the feet
Faith . . . . . as a shield
Salvation . . . . . as a helmet
The word of God . . . . . as a sword of the Spirit
Imagine putting this armor on yourself. How does it feel? How would it help you to deal with panic or prevent panic?
If our struggles are not against people (flesh and blood) how would that change our view of troubles with other people?