Thursday, July 22, 2010

Respect vs. Fear

That's a good thought Goforth.

I'm not sure where respect ends and fear begins and I certainly do not understand the cultural implications both spiritually and socially among 1st century Israel, which would lend some great insight to Jesus' words. But certainly there is a manner or kind of respect in every 'fear' we have. We acknowledge what we believe to be true about something and that belief then is what drives our behaviour towards it. So, very simply, I fear spiders. I don't really know why (though I could think of a few philisophical reasons) but I scream (a low manly scream, of course) when confronted with large specimens suddenly on my body or in my clothing. This fear is (without getting into how I got the fear) driven by my belief that they will do something to me - bite me, lay eggs, crawl around my skin without end. It is also driven by my perception of them, I think. They are so DIFFERENT and therefore I, perhaps, cannot trust THEIR behaviour. 8 legs, 8 eyes, soft hairy bodies, fangs, claws, sticky web spewing butts, paralyzing & blood sucking creatures. They have characteristics that much of what my culture would call evil. And so I believe this of them. Well however it is I believe it, I get pretty agitated pretty quick when I've got a wolf spider crawling up the inside of my shirt. Yet in my HEAD I know that much of what I fear about spiders is irrational. I still believe it because I still respond in a particular way. Fear is a powerful thing and long affects those infected by it. If I said I respect spiders, it would be true but my actions to this belief would be different. I think, though, there's often a little or a lot of both of these things going on in our minds and hearts when we consider God. Because we don't really know what He's like (kind of ... at least the Bible gives us some indications, though the definitions are often a little above us: God is love, spirit, life, light ...etc.). We can't see Him. We experience Him in ways ... but each person does so personally. So largely, I'd say, our belief of the character of God is determined by what we're taught by those we respect as such. That this belief will determine the type or amount or kind of fear/respect we have for Him. I'm feeling like I'm getting way off topic here. But I'm enjoying my rambling musing.