When Fear Is A Friend

"Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God..." --1 Peter 2:17 

You may have anticipated today's entry -- for the other shoe to drop. Well, you'd be right, because there is a healthy kind of fear. Back in my heavy lifting days, after the warm-up and light sets, we'd gradually load more and more plates to the bar. As I wrapped my wrists and knees for the heavy stuff, the fire of fear would build inside me.

By the time I put my belt on and chalked-up, it was an inferno. A slap across my face and a deep inhale through the nose, and I'd get under the bar for battle. Indeed, I respected the bar too much not to respect it. Plainly said, fear dictated my posture for the moment, kept me sharp, alert, strong. Fear was a friend.

When the Bible talks about fearing the Lord, it's not referring to a scary fear -- it's talking about a reverence, an awe, a holy respect that brings wisdom. When we seek Him daily in prayer and Bible study, we gain wisdom from a love that's born through awesome fear. As Christians with a mind for health, our fear of the Lord should dictate our posture -- first in our kneeling and quiet times, and then in how we conduct ourselves in humility and diligence. Our fear of the Lord is what separates us from other fitness enthusiasts or athletes. In other words, we respect Him too much not to. Fear keeps us sharp, alert, strong. Make no mistake, fear can be a friend.

--Jimmy Peña

For Discussion: How else can fear be healthy? What do we fear more, not getting the approval and applause of others or not having God's approval? Is our life as health-minded believers a posture that proves it?