Free to love God

In the King James Version as well as other translations of the Bible, the word fear is often used to describe how worshipers should show their reverence for God. For instance, this command seems clear: “And now, Israel, what doth the Lord thy God require of thee, but to fear the Lord thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the Lord thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul” (Deuteronomy 10:12). People who are familiar with the King James Bible become accustomed to such uses of the word fear as referring to respect, honor, awe, and love when they read passages like this.

Today, of course, most of us think of fear as feeling afraid. Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, writes in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, “Always begin your treatment by allaying the fear of patients.… If you succeed in wholly removing the fear, your patient is healed” (pp. 411–412). 

I had an experience that has opened my eyes to the importance of removing that kind of fear. When I felt severe pain in one of my knees while running recently, I wasn’t really afraid; I was just in pain. And I was annoyed and upset, because this was a chronic problem. As I continued to run, I prayed, and my prayers led me to consider the perfect nature of God and to worship Him. I didn’t need to spend any time balancing that worship with consideration of the physical senses, but to just wholeheartedly and unreservedly give God my love and attention. The change was immediate. When I fully committed to complete worship of and love for God as I ran, the pain completely vanished, and I went on to finish my run with great joy. And I’m grateful that the pain, which had been an unwelcome but constant companion during or after my runs for several years, has not been an issue in any runs since then; I was healed.

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