As a child, I was among the numbers of children dragged to some religious castle by their parents whom hoped my soul would be saved even though I was much too young to understand. From one brick building to another, from a repurposed old home to a tent in a field. I had once been carted from one gathering to another, all of which was appeared to be praising the same God.

My childhood religious travels led me to believe that religion is strong in many people, some of which focus every aspect of their lives around what they believe. I also learned that others believe that they just don’t want anything to do with religion and just want to serve their time on this earth. Religion gives you faith in some aspect of life after life. It provides a path to find answers that merely lead to more questions.

It isn’t religion where the problem lies, it is within the multitude of churches and how those churches both interpret and teach the word of God or what they claim to be God’s direction. This flaw in religion made me stand aside the church at an early age. I did not need to be led or misled and I certainly didn’t believe that I should be told what to believe in.

I spent much of my adult years using the phrase “I am a god-fearing man” and also “I believe religion is between a man and God and that there is no need for a building to create that bond.” “God-fearing“, at one point I felt that this commonly used phrase meant that one who believed in god and was a Christian. If you was “God-fearing” you would arrive at the “pearly gates” and face judgement for your actions while on Earth by God himself. It was the fear of what He thought about what you have done that made one “God-fearing”, much like when a child is sat down by a parent to discuss hitting a ball through the neighbor’s window; we knew we did something bad and we knew there would be consequences.

I realized recently that I have spent so much of my life being “God-fearing” that I haven’t been accepting God in my life. Sure I grew up learning the Sunday school stories and I felt I knew the concept, but in reality I knew very little and understood less. It was easy to use the philosophy that if one had as little faith as the size of a mustard seed he could move mountains and this lead to the fallacy that this small amount of faith is all that was required to make things right with God.

I realized that by being “God-fearing” does not ensure that I am a good Christian, nor does it mean that I will walk into whatever awaits what is beyond this life. It only means that I fear God himself and that fear has prevented me from accepting what He is trying to provide for me as well as blinded me to the direction He has been trying to lead me.

Fear not God, fear what your soul will be without Him.