A man nearby recently killed his 6 year old son because he didn’t do his homework. In another province a teacher lined up her class to take turns to strike a boy who didn’t do his homework. Education is valued highly here and fear is the primary tool to communicate its importance to children.
The college entrance exams for where we live are coming up in the next couple weeks. Fear of failure and the shame it would bring to their family causes many young people to take their lives during these next few weeks. (Please take some time to pray for these students to have hope for their future and to find understanding friends and family to comfort them to life.)
Fear Generates Quick Results.
Fear generates quick results. People choose to do what you want in order to avoid the potential consequences. The speed in generating compliance is why fear is so commonly used.
I remember as a kid my family taking a summer road trip. We stopped at a rest area to stretch our legs and probably for me to go to the restroom. When it was time to leave, my brother was taking his time to get back to the car. Due to the long drive or some other reason, frustration mounted in my dad, and he told my brother if he didn’t hurry, he would get left. The next thing I remember is my dad pulling away a few feet. I don’t know what affect this had on my brother, but I screamed out in terror.
I really thought my dad was leaving him. I reasoned if he would be willing to leave him, he would no doubt some day leave me. The enemy seized the opportunity to further cement my fears of abandonment.
Fear Always Leaves a Foothold
Here’s the thing, fear may bring quick results, but it will always leave a foothold for the enemy. God motivates us with love. His direction and instructions for us are always for our benefit. He wants us to experience every good thing. He knows what is best for us.
God doesn’t want us to stop sinning because He hates it;
He knows that when we sin we are not experiencing His best for us.
Let Love Reign
Are we approaching God out of fear or love? If it is out of fear, we may follow all the rules, but we will never enter into God’s heart. God’s heart is completely for us. The disciplines of faith are not a bunch of checklists to say we are right with God, but they are doorways for us to enter into His presence. Allow love be the filter for how we see God responding to us.
How are you leading others? Do they feel your love even in their disobedience or are they aware of your displeasure? Let us let love reign in our relationships.
Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret,
but worldly sorrow brings death. – 2 Corinthians 7:10