Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Don’t Allow Fear to Get Between You and God

A little boy sits, crouching behind the couch, waiting for his mother to find the broken lamp on the floor. Will she notice? Will she know he was the culprit? Will she be upset? Will she punish him for playing football in the den? Every child knows this fear, and every parent knows the power of forgiving the child, in hopes that the football remains outside next time he wants to play. Rejoicing in his freedom, and happy that he can sit down without pain in his behind, the boy quickly remembers that football is an outside game. This is an example of a little fear, mixed with forgiveness, can be a good thing, leading to a better future. We aren’t always “that smart” to learn the lesson and power of forgiveness.

In the Gospel of Matthew, we hear of a crowd that was afraid and marveled at the ability of Jesus to forgive sins. The Gospel says, “Now when the multitudes saw it, they marveled and glorified God, who had given such power to men.” (Matthew 9.8) The power of God can bring fear into the hearts of many, but what we do with that fear, is what matters. A little boy learns to stop playing football in the house. Do we learn to stop our sinful behavior?

Saint John Chrysostom warns us to not be too comfortable in our sins, just because we haven’t been punished by God yet. This little boy could just have easily calculated that his mother would never punish him, and he might continue to play football in the house....until the next lamp, or window, or TV is broken. Then he will hide behind the couch wondering, is THIS the time she will punish me? This fear is hindering the boy’s relationship with his mother, and not leading to repentance.

Don’t allow fear to get between you and God. If you find yourself behind the couch, be thankful He hasn’t punished you “yet” and repent from sin. In the long run, you will spend less time hiding and more time enjoying the love of God.

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