“Who Do You Fear?”
Prov. 16:6 By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the LORD men depart from evil.
Everyone is afraid of something or someone. A young child may be afraid of the dark or of being left alone. Others are afraid of heights or of certain types of animals. Some even get out of bed every morning afraid that this might be the day they die. Some are afraid of people: whether it be large crowds, a bully, or peer pressure. What is fear? Is it a good thing or a bad thing? Fear simply means to be afraid of somebody or something. Fear is almost always referred to as a negative. We hear motivational speeches on overcoming fear. We tease others if they are afraid of doing something that is fearful to them. Although I would have to agree with many that fear can be a bad thing, I also know that in order to be a successful Christian one must have fear. You see, fear can be just as much a positive as a negative, especially in the Christian life. The determining factor of whether fear is good or bad is the object at which your fear is directed. The noun (person, place, thing, or idea) makes all the difference. For instance, if you decide to do something wicked because you’re afraid of what your so-called friends will think about you, this would be bad fear. On the other hand, if you keep from doing something wicked because you’re afraid of what the consequences may be, this is good fear. Fear of man = negative fear; fear of God = positive fear. The sad truth today, however, is that very few Christian boys, girls, or teenagers have any fear of God. They have fear of what their best friends think. They have fear about what their enemies think. They even have fear of what people think that they have never met nor will ever meet. They fear rejection, dislike, unpopularity, being made fun of, etc. This type of fear is very dangerous because it keeps us fearful of what doesn’t really matter while causing us to ignore the true dangers ahead. This is negative fear. This is the fear that we must not only overcome, but replace with godly fear. Fear should never leave us; it should just be pointed at the right object. For instance, David in the Bible was able to slay the giant not because he wasn’t afraid, but rather, because of whom he was afraid. You see David’s fear of God eliminated his fear of the giant.
Godly fear is what I’m referring to today. For if we fear God; we will not fear man. Fear can keep us from sin, or fear can cause us to sin. Prov. 16:6 states “By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the LORD men depart from evil.” What is Godly fear? Prov. 8:13 says “The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate.” Who do you fear today young person? The object of your fear will determine the outcome of your life. If you fear man, you will strive to please man; but if you fear God, you will strive to please God.