February 26, 2008

Out of Love or Fear?

Do we serve God out of love or out of fear? Does it matter if we obey God and spread the Gospel out of fear of Hell, instead of out of unselfish love of God?

There are days that I go through my day in loving devotion to my family, and there are days that I work, and make dinner, and help with the baby purely because I'm obligated to. I really wish I could be doing something else – playing a video game, going to see a movie, or just sleeping a little longer. But I don’t; I do what I have to do – what I vowed to do. Hopefully, it’s much more often out of love than out of fear or obligation, but does it make me a bad husband and father if it isn’t always selfless?

I think if we're honest with ourselves, we have to admit to never truly having a perfect relationship. Some days are selfish investments – assuring that you’ll still be “in” when the next happy, in-love day rolls around. There are days I truly love serving God. There are days I follow His commands and serve His will, to the best of my knowledge, out of nothing more than fear of the alternative.

So sometimes, yes, I profess my faith purely out of fear of God. But that, as the Old Testament says, is the beginning of wisdom.

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