Fear or faith?
“God literally scared me back into church.” So said a man last night. He was trying to ‘witness’ to me, I’m sure. After all, I left the church he now attends, and that church believes people who leave are “backslidden” and lost. He was verbally abusive to me before I left due to a delusion he had about my future (he believed God promised him I’d marry him) but I stood there feeling almost sorry for him, even though seeing him made my skin crawl.
He told me how he’d lost two toes and almost lost his leg (unmedicated, uncontrolled diabetes) and had been without work for a year and a half. And explained that this was God “scaring him back to church”. Nothing about God drawing him to Himself. Nothing about God’s love. Just fear. To me that is a very sad state to be in.
I live for God in faith, not fear. If I only served God because I was afraid of what He’d do to me if I didn’t, what sort of relationship would I have with Him? Where would be the trust, love, hope, peace and joy that the Bible talks about in reference to following Jesus? And what happens when those who live for God in fear find themselves in a difficult situation in spite of going to church and professing Christianity?
At one time, I went to church regularly in fear. But I can’t ‘live for God’ in fear, and my heart breaks for those who think they are. My life, really living, comes through faith and through grace, through accepting all that Jesus did for me… in love.