My own personal stance against religious hypocrisy - both my own, and any others who seek to hurt people in the name of God.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Who and What Should We Fear

So much of our human cultures are built on fear. We're afraid of this, that, and a host of other things.

Here is a partial list of things we fear:

  • Losing our job/finances
  • Losing a loved one
  • Losing health
  • Being attacked/terrorism/mugging/rape/murder
  • Having our faith corrupted
  • Gay/Lesbian/Bi-sexual/Transgender people
  • Religious fanatics
  • Religious intolerants
  • Pollution
  • Governments
This is just a very small list, and a good number of them are valid fears. But what does God have to say about all of this fear?

I just finished going through my concordance. What I found were 284 command references to us - from God - regarding fear.

At least 112 times God tells us to NOT FEAR. This is done a LOT when prophetic events are described. Twenty-six of those admonitions occur in the New Testament. Many from Jesus' own mouth. The very first admonition about fear is to NOT.

After these things the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision, saying, "Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your exceedingly great reward." Genesis 15:1 New King James Version

In the Gospel of Luke, Jesus talks about what things will be like in the years shortly preceding his return.

And there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring; men's hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken.(emphasis mine) Luke 21:25-26 New King James Version

When we, who claim to trust God, are afraid of these things - and I am guilty like everyone else - what we are really saying is that we do NOT trust God. If we did, we would not be afraid, because God has already told us to calm down and not be afraid. Not of these things anyway.

There is something we should fear. God tells us this no less than 172 times: 21 times in the New Testament. What is it that we should fear?

God.

If we fear God - if we trust Him - we will be less and less disposed to act out violently and irrationally against those who frighen us. For they will not frighten us anymore.

We become afraid because we become so bound to and caught up in this world that we forget this is but a short time in our existence. ALL of us are going to live forever. The question is: Where?

Do not hinder your chances of living with God by focusing on your fears - especially when those fears drive you to inflict pain, hardship, harassment, and even death to others. Focus on God. Do not be concerned about what other people are doing. It cannot happen unless God allows it. Speak out. Be heard. Make your opinions known. But do so in love and tenderness. Not hatred, fear, and violence. And trust God to keep things under control no matter how things play out.

2 comments:

Silver said...

Thanks for reminding me about the fear of God. i have been so plagued by all kinds of fear.. didn't really hit me as not trusting God.

~Silver

Bevie said...

I am the same way. Sometimes it seems my whole life is lived in fear. It's something I learned a long time ago. If someone stresses something a lot, it is likely that is something they are struggling with in their own life.

I stress fear and hypocrisy. It's what I'm learning about so it's what I talk/write about.