How can I get over my fear of God?

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Answered by: David, An Expert in the Skepticism and Cricital Thinking Category
This is the greatest fear of all. I was taught at an early age in our Lutheran church to fear the wrath of God. This belief led me to explore many paths and situations to test the validity of the tenet. To even question it meant risking punishment in unseen form. Later on, I learned of karma and the consequences of doing something wrong intentionally. Karma is at the heart of the fear of God question. Only recently have I learned that karma can be released only through forgiveness. Forgiveness of another ultimately leads to forgiveness of self and when this is accomplished, the fear of God disappears and is replaced with the love of God.

Fear of God can be confused with fear of annihilation or the destruction of self. This fear permeates our world and leads to all of our conflicts, both large and small. Our actions, words, and deeds matter, if one believes that we are interconnected. I got over my fear of God through deliberate practice. This practice can be in the form or prayer, meditation, or simply sitting in silence and listening closely for mental clarity.

Let me give an extreme example. Eight years ago, my youngest son attempted suicide by shooting himself with a shotgun. He was rescued, hospitalized and spent nineteen days in a coma. I made a pact with my wife that we would accept no shame or blame. My fear of God made this pact nearly impossible as I felt both shame at letting my son down and blamed myself for his depression and despair.

I also felt that karma had come back to me full-force as punishment for fifty years of transgressions. Years of daily prayers and the love and support of family and friends have finally turned the situation completely around. He had six surgeries on his face and lost an eye and hearing on his left side. Yet, today he is sober, living on his own, and working again. My fear of God has slowly transformed into love. The fear did nothing, only accentuated and alienated. People who knew him previously shunned him and us, like depression might be contagious. Others, acting out of love, provided comfort, encouragement, and moral support. This contrast became obvious over time. Love won out over fear.

My son, being a child of God, chose a path few would dare. One could call him a death defier. He jokingly calls himself the innocent one. I forgave him out loud while he was still in a coma, and he squeezed my hand in acceptance. From that moment on, I knew he would recover and live. Not necessarily how I wanted him to live, but as God wants him to be. A living example to anyone he encounters who might ask what happened to him. My fear of God disappeared slowly as he was healed, day-by-day. Now, I believe that God is only love, which is no small thing. Love that needs to express itself continuously.

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