Reflecting on fear

"The fear of the LORD leads to life:  then one rests content, untouched by trouble." Proverbs 19:23 

We almost made it the whole school year…without a trip to the Assistant Principal’s office.  You know…the principal who deals with discipline issues.  With only three days of school left, I got an email from…well…one of the boys’ teachers.  He was making snide remarks and rude comments and generally disrespectful and out of control
I read the email as I was walking to pick this particular son up after school.  Timing is everything.  To my satisfaction, the Assistant Principal was on “door duty.”  I introduced myself and showed her the email.  We decided to pull you know who into the office as he was leaving school for a surprise “pep talk.” 
The Assistant Principal was outstanding.  She was serious, but kind.  (I feel like I’m one or the other.)  The little boy in question said very little.  He was guilty indeed.
At the end of the conversation I thanked the Asst. Principal and said, “sometimes, putting a little fear in them really helps.”  She was quick with a school teacher standard response:  “Oh no, we never want the children to fear.  We want them to reflect.”  I couldn’t help but smile. 
As we walked home I reflected on whether or not this particular boy would indeed reflect.  I doubted it.  But I knew he felt a little fear.  And that didn’t bother me one bit. 
The Bible talks a lot about fear—the fear of God.  The word fear is mentioned more than 300 times in Scripture.  It’s not the kind of fear that leaves us scared to ever approach God.  It’s the kind of fear that reminds us that He is God and we are not.  It’s knowing our place.  It's a holy and awesome reverence before the creator of the universe. 

And this fear of God affects our actions.  We want to do what pleases him.  

But there's more.  The fear of God is rooted in a deep theological truth:  God is good.  When we know we’re in the hands of a good God, we have nothing to be afraid of.
After that brief impromptu meeting, this little boy was reminded of his “place.”  He was not in charge.  There were rules to follow and respect to be given.  He was also reminded that he had a second chance the very next morning.  He was still loved.  He wrote a note to his teacher asking for her forgiveness.  She, a good teacher, of course said yes
No matter what our age, this good God is to be feared.  Show him the honor he deserves.  That’s worth some reflection.

Patricia Batten