What Should I Fear?
Many of us fear failure, but the fear of success can be equally paralyzing. Fear of death leads to some wise decisions, but it can also trump a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity we'll later regret not taking. The fear of man, also known as peer-pressure, might convince a teenager to make a questionable fashion decision, or it could trick an entrepreneur to lie on his income tax return. Fear is not a moral compass. It doesn't tell us what is right or wrong, no matter how strongly we feel it. Rather, our fears show us what we value above all else.
Fear is an incredible motivator. It causes us to avoid dangerous situations, like walking alone in a bad neighborhood at night. It can also make us do silly things, like refuse to step on cracks in the sidewalk because we don't want to injure our mother's back. Rational or irrational, we fear what we respect, and we change our behavior according to what we fear.
The Bible tells us there is only one thing worth fearing: God Himself. He is the only trustworthy guide and ultimate protector. Psalms says,
"The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom;
all who follow his precepts have good understanding.
To him belongs eternal praise" (Psalm 111:10).
Wisdom is obeying the Creator of the universe and patterning our lives according to His thinking. We obey what we fear, and if we fear the Lord, we'll do what He says.
God wants us to fear nothing and no one but Him. He promises us,
"So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand" (Isaiah 41:10).
Our God has all the knowledge, all the understanding, and all the power, and He promises to take care of us. He will protect us from trouble and help us endure hardship. The Lord will keep you no matter what deadline you're up against, impossible decision you have to make, or frightening circumstance you're battling. He is your strength and your fortress.
"The Lord is my light and my salvation—
whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life—
of whom shall I be afraid?" (Psalm 27:1)
God will never leave you or forsake you. Choose Him. Fear Him alone.