There is no Fear in Love

Don Hendricks, my online friend, recently wrote something on his blog that I so agree with concerning the relationship between God and His people. Here it is:
I have a pet peeve about some popular ways we live out Christmas truth. It seems that many still live in a relationship with the Old Covenant. As I preach through the prophecies of Isaiah I see tremendous changes promised....but many are more interested in the God who punished His old covenant people for their sins.

We are not in a community that is punished for being out of line, for the line, ie. the law, was hung on the cross. There is still an inevitable sowing and reaping in our moral decisions, but God in Christ is for us, for all of us. Peace on earth is about God understanding we are pretty much hopeless in the perfect obedience department. Christ became God's perfect obedience, and his faith saves us. It's so simple that we simply miss the core of the good news. God loves sinners, sent His Son to save us.
Thinking about that I am reminded about a Facebook dialog I recently had with an old friend of mine where I responded to his assertion that:
"I should flee with Godly fear from all personal wrong-doing lest I come under his righteous judgment. Thus, the fear of the Lord keeps me from evil."
I pointed out to him, and I do to you today, that God is love and there is no fear in love.

A proper understanding of how the fear of the Lord evolves resembles that of an earthly child and their father. A child's healthy relationship with their (seemingly larger than life) father "begins" with fear. But a healthy relationship does not stay in fear. A grown child should honor and respect their father but should not fear him. So it is understandable, in that context, why a young believer would fear God. But as the believer matures the fear looks more like an awe filled honor and respect of their heavenly Father.


  1. AMEN & AMEN. I've always known it was easy for me to not only understand but accept God's love because of the wonderful love my earthly Father showed me. I ALWAYS wanted to obey my dad's rules and requirements, not out of fear but because I loved him so and wanted to make him proud and honor him.

    That is exactly how I serve my God, not out of fear but because I love Him so.

  2. I had a similar discussion today as we came across Phil 2:12

    "work out your own salvation with fear and trembling."

    Where does the idea of fear fit in with our confidence in God? I think there is healthy and unhealthy fear. Healthy fear might be fear of (respect for) electricity. A moment of losing our respect for its power could cost us dearly. I think we must treat God the same. He loves us and cares for us, but we must have a healthy respect for him as well lest we become arrogant and forget that He is the God of the universe.

    Scripture constantly warns us to stay on our guard against false teachings and complacency. Healthy fear is an emotion that heightens our senses and helps us stay on guard. I think a healthy, reverent fear of God is not a bad thing to walk in.

  3. @Susan - Good thoughts! The behavior that comes from love is a kind that honors and respects.

    @Spherical - Agree. I think that the key word is healthy. I like your example of respecting electricity. Like gravity, and other of God's natural laws, electricity is nothing to be feared unless one is being foolish in their interactions with it. When I think about the Phil 2:12 verse I remember that faith, like electricity, is not a something to be played around with.

  4. There is still an inevitable sowing and reaping in our moral decisions, but God in Christ is for us, for all of us. I like that. Oh for a true, right and open relationship with Him. Jesus has opened the way, but I'm waiting for the fulfillment!

  5. I came from a little church in SE Kansas that more or less preached fear and trembling salvation. I still struggle with knowing that God actually loves me. Thank you for pointing this sort of thing out. Well written!

  6. Thanks Dan for stopping by and for commenting. And thank you for serving our country.

  7. i totally agree. My religion has a lot of taboos especially in the area of health. As a child I followed these principles out of fear... but as I grew and learned, most of the principles actually have a scientific basis and are really beneficial - then my fear turned to awe.


I love to get comments and usually respond. So come back to see my reply.
You can click here to see my comment policy.