[Papercut Press] 1999-12-13 - eBay and Fear

“Who would not fear You, O King of the nations? Indeed it is Your due! For among all the wise men of the nations, and in all their kingdoms, there is none like You.” Jeremiah 10:7

Marching into the present, I discovered E-Bay, the on-line auction place, this week. This has resulted in, for me, three forms of fear.

  1. Fear of being out-bid. I hate to lose, and I have submitted a couple of bids on some older theological books.
  2. Fear of not being out-bid. While the above is true, I really, really don’t want to win all my bids, I can’t afford them all.
  3. Fear that my wife will fully understand that I have found another outlet for my addiction of seventeenth century Theological treatises. I have hidden nothing from her, and she is backing me all the way, but I wonder if she really understands the antiquarian mindset.

Christians have little need to fear. In fact, the only Christian who should fear is that one that indulges in unrepentant sin. “If we say that we have fellowship with Him and walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.” (1 John 1:6) So if you live in unrepentant sin, have no remorse for it, and assume that all is well with your soul, you are fooling yourself. You, and you especially, should fear.

However, with that bit of nastiness out of the way, a Christian has very little need to fear. “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9) The promise of God for forgiveness is so broad, so far reaching, so measureless, that confession is equated, in His book of how things work, with forgiveness. Who needs to fear when eternity is all taken care of?

Sure, there are things here on earth that cause worry and anxiety, but they need not do so. Walking with Jesus means that all the really big things are taken care of and the only fear we should have is a holy fear, and sense of Christian duty to make sure we do our best and represent our faith with excellence and virtue. There is no need for any fear except that trepidation that longs to not offend God and a reverence that fears ever defying His loving directives for our lives.

The words of Chrysostom (347-407 AD) on fear are powerful.

“What can I fear? Will it be death? But you know that Christ is my life, and that I shall gain by death. Will it be exile? But the earth and all its fullness is the Lord’s. Will it be loss of wealth? But we brought nothing into the world, and can carry nothing out. Thus, all the terrors of the world are contemptible in my eyes; and I smile at all its good things. Poverty I do not fear; riches I do not sigh for; death I do not shrink from; and life I do not desire, save only for the progress of your souls.”

Soli Deo Gloria,