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Do You Have Friggatriskaidekaphobia?

Friday the 13th isn't an unlucky day—unless you have "friggatriskaidekaphobia." That's the term psychologists give the small number people who are afraid of Friday the 13th. It's named after Frigga, the Norse goddess for whom "Friday" is named, and triskaidekaphobia, meaning fear of the number thirteen.

A study done by the Stress Management Center and Phobia Institute in 2011 revealed that "17-21 million people in the United States are affected by a fear of this day." The head of the study said, "It's been estimated that $800-$900 million is lost in business on this day because people will not fly or do business they would normally do."

Why fear a simple number like 13? Apparently, numerologists considered 12 to a "complete number" because it represents the number of months in a year, the gods of Olympus, the tribes of Israel and the apostles of Jesus. For this reason the number 13 has long been considered unlucky because it is not 12 and thus causes a lot of anxiety in the world when it lands on a Friday.

Potential Preaching Angles: Fear is a big determining factor in a lot of the decisions we make. But Scripture reveals to us that perfect love casts out fear. When we put our trust in our heavenly Father, those things that we feared begin to fade away. Maybe not right away, like moving on to the next day after a Friday the 13th, but later we can look back and see how God's love shepherded us through our fears.

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