“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.” (1 John 4:18.)
What are you afraid of? I am not afraid of much. On my list of fears I have include, centipedes, yellow jackets, and slasher films. I have been woken from sleep by centipedes biting me. A sting from a yellow jacket led to a severe allergic reaction. I can watch most horror films and not squirm for the most part; and I enjoy them. Yet, in a slasher film, the thought of people being hacked to pieces by a deranged psychopath is a little too much for me to handle.
I think most Christians, especially the babes in Christ, have a tendency to fear the Judgment of God. I did, for the longest time. I often doubted myself wondering if I was living good enough. I used to be very afraid of whenever that time would come. However, over time, you begin to learn that you’re not perfect. There are going to be times we mess up. There are times we feel further away from God.
In those times, we just need to dust it off and not allow ourselves to wander further away. We need to stand up and keep moving forward and ask forgiveness for our mistakes. Then we need to resolve to do the best we can to not do those things again.(James 4:8.)
In 1st John 4:17-21, it talks about how Christians should never be afraid of God’s judgment. Should we have a healthy amount of fear (respect) for God and the judgment? Yes, absolutely. Yet, when we have fear that cripples us, it makes us doubt ourselves. It makes our confidence in God dwindle. Faith can die when we develop this thinking. Many have fallen away because they feel that they just were not strong enough to hang on.
If you have been baptized into Christ and are following Him with your whole heart, don’t be afraid (Romans 6:3-7.) Examine your heart often and make sure you are doing what God would have you to do (2 Peter 2:10.) There is no need to fear. When we die, or when Christ returns, we will have joy and He will embrace us with open arms. Remember, “perfect love casts out fear”-with God’s love, we should never fear.