I’ve heard plenty of people, usually Christians, refer to themselves as “God fearing”. I have a serious issue with that. Even though some claim that it simply means to have extreme reverence for God, it means a more than that, and it just doesn’t seem right to me.
A lot of people really do fear their god, and I don’t understand that mentality. People believe that god is vengeful and destructive and a punisher. Some even focus on that aspect more than the positive side, seeing god as one who smites the non-believers and rains down plagues and disasters on sinners. It seems strange to me to see one’s god as something capable of such horror, and something that one should tremble before.
To me, god is love and compassion. It is a force of good and cooperation and beauty. There is no punishment or destruction aimed at people. I would never fear what I see as god. I see it as a source of infinite love and wisdom and change, not as something I have to obey and fear lest it strike me down. It is around me and within me, always lifting me up and leading me forward.
I really believe that fear of god is a human construct. People want power and control so if god is something with the ability to cause sickness, death and disaster, you’re more likely to what to do what you’re told so you don’t incur its wrath. It keeps people in line. If everyone saw god as only a source of love and support, they would act more freely and be less easily controlled.
I’ve always had issues with the idea of god being this thing that does horrible things to people because they haven’t acted in a certain way. Natural disasters coming from god as punishment doesn’t make sense either, since so many good, innocent people are hurt or die. If god was so powerful, it would bring miracles that would make people believe rather than causing pain and devastation. But that’s just how I believe.
I think it all boils down to trying to crush free will. We have the ability to think and choose for ourselves, but if we did, others couldn’t control us. Making a person fear something or someone keeps them weak and compliant. It’s an obvious abuser-victim scenario. You can be abused horribly without anyone ever touching you. If you fear someone you’ll do whatever you have to do to stay safe, even if it means going against your heart and better judgement.
If people truly love and respect god, I think they need to cut the word fear out of the equation. Love never involves fear. If you love someone and they love you, you’re never afraid of each other. Love is safety and comfort and joy and a sense of uplifting. I think that having true respect for god and yourself would mean living without fear, from a place of love and kindness and joy. I can’t imagine ever fearing that which I call god.