Balance of Fear and Love

One thing that I’ve been reminded of recently is the balance of fear and love. As I read through the Bible I notice that virtually every Psalm/Sermon on the Mount/etc show the balance of fear and love. It shows how great God is and his power to destroy the wicked. But then it continually brings you back to his grace and love for the righteous.

I can see it being a hard balance for teaching elders/everybody to keep in mind. Balancing between the hell fire and brimstone preacher/the cushy God loves you and is harmless messages seems to be difficult. Most of us do things in a very unbalanced manner. We’re flipping over here, doing this, doing that, etc. But you can’t ignore one or the other because you can see from the example Scripture gives we are given a balance of both.

As one of the elders in church put it, when you rule with a fist of fear in your family you will get obedience. You won’t get an inward wanting or obedience to do it, but you’ll get an external shell. I.e. I think much of fundamentalism/mennonites/etc is built on the externals. But what gets you to honor your parents long term and in your heart, it’s love. We do things because we love. Not necessarily our choice, but we will follow because we love.

In the same way, in our relationship with God we generally turn from our sin because of our fear of hell and the destruction and judgment promised in the Word. But that doesn’t keep us. Ultimately, we’ll obey consistently because we love Him and His rules and laws.

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