Bad fear is based on false values and unnecessary worries.
Good fear is based on a reasonable understanding of danger, power, circumstances and consequences.
It's healthy fear when a woman chooses a well-lit street instead of the back-alley way home. It's healthy fear when a man drives more carefully on icy roads.
There's also healthy and unhealthy fear in our relationship with God.
Perfect love casts out bad fear (1 John 4:18) because we know that Jesus will never forsake us, leave us, or harm us.
But perfect love instills a healthy fear of the Lord in us - a fear that is the beginning of wisdom (Proverbs 9:10).
Sometimes people define this as reverence but it's more than that.
It's a combination of love, awe, and dependence built on an accurate knowledge of God's power.
It's knowing we are but small boats on the powerful ocean of His loving will.
Next week on Bite Size Bible Study we'll continue our discussion on fear.
1. How does God's love eliminate unhealthy fear?
1 John 4:16-18: We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in his love. God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them. 17 And as we live in God, our love grows more perfect. So we will not be afraid on the day of judgment, but we can face him with confidence because we live like Jesus here in this world. 18 Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love.
2. What are the benefits of a healthy fear of God?
Proverbs 1:7: The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.
Psalm 111:10: The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow his precepts have good understanding. To him belongs eternal praise.
Psalm 25:14: The LORD confides in those who fear him; he makes his covenant known to them.
Psalm 147:11: the LORD delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in his unfailing love.
Psalm 33:18: the eyes of the LORD are on those who fear him, on those whose hope is in his unfailing love...
copyright 2016, Gail Burton Purath, BiteSizeBibleStudy.com
Share Bite Size Studies on social networks using the small gray buttons below each study.