Fear: The death of the Modern-Day Saint | The Savings Wife

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Fear: The death of the Modern-Day Saint

Fear is one of the largest topics you can find in the Bible.  You see the command "Do Not Fear" from everything from angelic visits to the night before a great battle.  We are told not to fear those who can harm the body but only those who can kill the soul and sentence us to a death we are not meant for.  Every follower of Christ is called a Saint.  Not because we are perfect but we try to be.  Fear is one of those things every Saint struggles with.  It can paralysis our faith but it can also motivate us for change.  This series is all about the way fear changes both for the good and the bad.  

This is part 1 of the Series: Fear: The Death of the Modern-Day Saint. Read part 1,2,3

Part 1: Rule Dependency

Fear can be a very bad thing in our walk.

One of the things Fear does to us it makes us and others dependent on the rules.  

These rules take many forms such as "A good Christian would never do this", I can't do this and neither should you, or the Bible says this and if you do this you will be punished by God, and "Without these rules you will fall away".

I'm not saying all rules are bad I have many rules that I have made for myself to "keep me unblemished".  The problem comes when we try to enforce our rules on others.  When this happens traditions and lines are made in which to compare everyone equally.

My walk is very different from your walk.  Yes, sin is sin in all circumstances, but our tendencies toward particular sins can vary.   My tendencies are very much alike to David.  Because of this, I have made boundaries that are pretty far away from the sin of adultery and Lust and Murder to keep me from sinning. For example, I will never stay in a room alone or in a building with someone I feel attracted too.  I am very stand-offish of any complements made to me by the opposite sex.  Anger is a whole other ball game and with hormones and blood sugar issues mixed it, all I can do is be aware at this point on what days or hours I'm more likely to start yelling or being harsh with my family and friends.  Where I go wrong is when I expect others to use the same fences or boundaries I do.
1 John 4:17: We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. By this, love is perfected with us, so that we may have confidence in the day of judgment; because as He is, so also are we in this world.There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love. We love, because He first loved us.
Just as the verse above implies.  Our fear often comes in the form of being punished.  We often think that we can do more sin that God could ever forgive.   Because of this we can live our lives in the mantra of Penitence.  Where we try and work to earn our salvation.   Here's the thing, we cannot earn our salvation. Our salvation was a gift freely given.
Ephesians 2:8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.

It's ok to use fear of punishment to help us create boundary that keep us from sinning.  It is not ok to impose those rules or boundaries on others as a measure of whether they are a real Christian or not.  All Christians continue to sin, although sin becomes the exception instead of the natural response.  This is the Holy Spirits work that convicts them of sin and helps them to change.  We as brothers and sisters in Christ can help by showing them love and even helping them come up with boundaries to help them.  By this you show them love and understanding.  

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