Then keep your tongue from speaking evil and your lips from telling lies! Turn away from evil and do good. Search for peace, and work to maintain it. Psalm 34:13-14 NLT
Fear results in right behavior.
I grew up fearing my parents. I feared how my life would be if I disobeyed their rules. They were the bosses. They fed me, clothed me, provided a shelter for me, and took care of other needs I had. If I disobeyed, they might cut out some of those things. So when they made rules, I obeyed. Even when I got older and received my driver’s license, I still obeyed while I was in their presence.
Fear of my parents taught me respect for other authority figures. I said “Yes mam,” and “Yes sir.” I talked politely to adults, whether I wanted to or not. I respected the rules at church, school, and home. I feared the consequences of not doing so.
But my fear of my parents and other adult figures was not the same kind of fear I might experience if I ran up on a mother bear with cubs or if I was confronted by someone wanting to rob me. My fear would better be termed reverence or respect. The same kind of fear God wants from me. Even though He controls every breath I take, He does not want me to have a fear relationship with Him. I’m His child . . . His friend. He merely wants my love and respect.
According to the psalmist, when this type of fear of God takes hold, certain things will happen. I won’t speak evil of others but will look for the good in them. All people are created in God’s image. He wants them to enter a relationship with Him so they can reach the potential He has in mind for them. I should see them the same way, remembering I was once where they presently are.
Fearing God will keep me from telling lies. Speaking truth is one of the ancient Ten Commandments. Lies destroy relationships and nations. Liars isolate themselves from others.
Fearing God encourages me to do good deeds. God is good, and when I’m connected to Him by faith, I’ll do good deeds for others. Fearing God will also lead me to work for peace. I’ll try my best to live at peace with others and show them how they can do the same.
Fear God so you can reap the rewards of a life lived with respect for Him.
Tweetable: What do you do with fear?
Prayer: Father, teach us to fear You in the right way so our resulting actions will make us better people and this world a better place.