Have you ever felt like there was a kind of balance between fearing God and trusting Him? I’ve been thinking about this today with a focus on the tone of my writing style.
There are many out there who abuse the fear of God and cause people to doubt their faith and salvation. I’ve supposed at points that the reasons some do this is to cause people to follow their “contrarian” Christian group.
Anyhow, what I’m thinking about today is my own approach. I want Christians to trust God instead of fear Him in an unproductive way. Yet, sometimes I think Christians should fear him more than they do.
The conclusion I’ve come to so far is that all of this depends on where we are in our walk as Christians.
For example, consider the parent-child relationship (between a child and a good parent). Does a newborn live in fear of their parents? No. In-fact, if that newborn caught even the slightest glimpse of his fathers wrath, it would be devastating for the child. The same is often true for new Christians. They might be better off learning about the love, patience, and mercy of God. They might not do so well with the wrathful side.
As Children grow, they learn some things about their parents. Consider the game of Peek-a-Boo. Eventually, a child will learn that their parent is hiding behind the hands. We too learn that though we cannot see God, He is here. As a small child learning that his parents will come back, we learn to trust God more.
As a child grows and develops a better understanding of who their parent is and how he will be there to care for them, they also begin to be corrected by their parents. The same is true for us. As we grow, we begin to see that God is always there for us. However, we also begin to see His chastisement when we do wrong. We start to learn of His wrath and the fear or respect we should have towards Him.
As a child grows, the parent will give good gifts to the child, expect the child to act more responsibly, and will probably chastise the child more severely if he does wrong–depending on the situation and how blatantly defiant the child was. The same is true for us. God gives us good gifts of the kingdom. If we are not faithful and obedient, we can get into trouble.
Now, consider our ministers today. Now, compare the word of God to a hammer (the bible uses this analogy). Should we give an infant a hammer? No. They will go around pounding holes into things. What if a parent gives their older child or teenager a hammer, then they start beating people with it. Will the father allow the child or teen to continue using the hammer? No.
Ministers of God should be using the hammer to build people up, not tear them down. However, many also use God’s hammer to build vain images (false doctrines, false ideas about God, false prophesies and the like), and sometimes it is appropriate to take the hammer away from them and smash their idols to the ground.
I know I’m rambling a bit, because this is my train of thought right now. I don’t know how well KindlingTruth will be at feeding infants. At some point we need to come off the breast. We cannot live on milk forever or we will die. However, I will try to do better about reaching a broader audience and ask the Lord for wisdom so that I am not smashing babies with hammers.
The Christian walk can be complex and varying from person to person. For this reason, we should all strive to show gentleness and patience with people as much as possible. However, there is a judgment and wrath of God. If we are old enough spiritually to consider this without losing the faith or becoming overly fearful, then I think we should. We have to continue in the faith. We have to grow.
Ministers should be aware of this also. We cannot look at someone from the outside and see how mature they are spiritually. If God does not give us some measure of discernment, we can start doing a lot of damage rather quickly. On the other side of things, we don’t want a congregation of infants that die on the breast because they were not properly fed.