Properly Placed Fear
Hello, this is Pastor Don of Christ Redeemer Church. Welcome to The Kingdom Perspective.
Is fear good or bad? Well, that just depends on the context. The question is not so much whether we fear, but what drives our fears; and whether any given fear is appropriate to its object. A person that is deathly afraid of being struck by lightning, so much so that he hides out in his basement whenever a cloud appears in the sky is not experiencing fear that is appropriate to the circumstance. On the other hand, someone who has no fear of gravity— fearlessly jumping from an airplane without a parachute—is not in touch with reality; though, should he jump without the parachute, he’ll come in contact with reality soon enough.
All humor aside, bad fear always operates in the mere possibility—the endless “what ifs” conjured up by our anxious hearts. On the contrary, good fear operates in reality. It sees things for what they really are. It has a properly ordered set of fears. It recognizes that it’s only reasonable that the highest object of fear must be my Creator. I was made by Him and for Him. He sustains my being. He holds my next heartbeat. Knowing this puts so many of our other fears in proper perspective.
And so, Jesus warns His followers:
“I tell you, my friends, do not fear those who kill the body, and after that have nothing more that they can do. But I will warn you whom to fear: fear him who, after he has killed, has authority to cast into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him!”
And so, Proverbs tells us: “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom…” (Proverbs 9:10). When we begin with the fear of God, all our other fears find their proper place.
Something to think about from The Kingdom Perspective.
“I tell you, my friends, do not fear those who kill the body, and after that have nothing more that they can do. But I will warn you whom to fear: fear him who, after he has killed, has authority to cast into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him! Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? And not one of them is forgotten before God. Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows.”
~ Luke 12:4-7 (ESV)