Thursday, July 28, 2005

ongoing thoughts on fear

Romans 3:18 "There is no fear of God before their eyes." This verse hits at the core of one of the most difficult traits of of the most threatening, one of the most humbling, yet one of the most satisfying if overcome. Paul has just given a laundry list of the sins displayed in conduct, conversation, and character. Unfortunately we are often too quick to rationalize our sin and never dig deeper into the heart issues and a true fear of the Lord.

Augustine had a lot to say about love and fear during his lifetime...quite removed from our culture (around the late-4th century) but still profound and helpful. One of our most natural basis of fears is that of loss (of a possession, person, or emotions). As he wrote, "It is beyond doubt that the one cause of fear is either that we will lose what we love after attaining it or that, despite all our hopes, we will never attain it at all." We often limit our picture of fear to this context when hearing/reading the words "fear of the Lord" and wrestling with faith.

Our love for God, as He first loved us, is united with the idea of fearing the Lord. Augustine's thoughts continue: "It is love loving the right is love no longer scarred by fear or loss but secure in its attainment to God, who does afford happiness and cannot--it may be confident--be taken from it." (Babcock in Augustine Today). The fear of the Lord in our eyes is simultaneously a humbling of ourselves before the Almighty God and a declaration of God's complete love and faithfulness. It is centered on the kingdom to come, not the kingdom on earth. And its hope is in the Gospel and its power.


Post a Comment

<< Home