When we were little, we had a certain amount of fear when it came to our parents. Hopefully not because they were actually harming us, but most of us thought at one point, “I’m a little scared of disobeying them.” That fear led us to obey them in the early parts of our lives. It was wise of us to fear them, it saved us from trouble on more than one occasion. Fear is a powerful (if not the most effective) motivator. Fear serves a purpose, especially in our immaturity.
But over the years that fear gave way to love. We started obeying them not because we were afraid of them, but because we loved and respected them. Love is a much more satisfying motivator. Hopefully, your current relationship with your parents isn’t based on fear but on love.
We see a parallel in our relationship with God. Many, if not most of us, began with a fear of God. Or at least a fear of being punished by Him. Proverbs 1:7 says, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” There are many who would say you shouldn’t fear God. Respect…yes. Fear…no. The truth is it’s a bit of both. We shouldn’t let fear of God control our lives, but if you aren’t or haven’t been at least a little afraid of God, I’m not sure you’ve really grasped Who He is. I do want to point out something though.
Fear is the beginning of wisdom.
The Bible doesn’t say fear is the ultimate goal. It says fear of God is the beginning of wisdom. Your relationship with God will grow over time and that fear will give way to respect and love. Much like your relationship with your parents, don’t let the fact that you were (or are) a little afraid of God stop you from diving deeper into a relationship with Him.
The wisest thing we can do is love God.
The God of the universe loves you. He wants nothing more than to be in a relationship with you. He doesn’t want anyone to perish but all to come to repentance. He doesn’t want to punish anyone. That doesn’t mean He won’t. I don’t want to punish my kids either, but sometimes I have to. It is wise for my kids to love me (and my wife) because we are the ones who love them the most. The same is true of you. The wisest thing you can do is love God. Why? Because He is the One Who loves you more than anyone else in the universe. He wants what’s best for you. Unlike your earthly parents, Your Heavenly Father is perfect, and so is His love.
Why do you love God?
Remember: We love you, we’re praying for you, and we’re in this together.