Fear vs. Love


Proverbs 9:10 – The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom

Doesn’t it seem a little contradictory to you that the fear of the Lord is a good thing if God is love and His love is enough to send His only son to die for our sins? You would think that fear would be the last thing connected to faith.

Instead, it’s the beginning of it. Odd, right?

That’s what I thought until I explored it recently.

If fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, there has to be some deep understanding contained within it. It has to allow us to see more than we would without it.

It makes me think – so often, God is seen as a grace-dispenser. Do something wrong - God will forgive you. God wants to bless you. God does not want you to suffer. Jesus is your friend.

While all of these are true, there is another side to it. God *is* a grace-dispenser, but we have the free will to receive it or not. He is also all-powerful, and there is absolute justice that we can never repay. When the woman washed Jesus’ feet with her tears, she understood this. She knew the depths of her sin. She knew there was no way she could repair the damage, and she knew the mercy that was being given to her. (Luke 7:37-57)

When you know how much you are being given, it is overwhelming. When you know what is being offered without cost, it can bring you to your knees.

We aren’t meant to live in fear. Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, not the end. I pray that each one of us gets a glimpse into the awesome power of God and that we realize how much we are really being offered.

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Karen May

Inspirational Catholic Writer and Speaker

based in Austin, Texas