As I was reading the book of Matthew, chapter ten, I realized that our fear belongs to God (Matthew 10:28). It is the root of wisdom (Proverbs 9:10). Godly fear is a “saving” fear. If we walk through the woods and spot a mama bear with her cubs, we experience a “saving” fear. It triggers our fight-or-flight nature. Fear that comes from domestic abuse is a “saving” fear. It tells us to get out and seek refuge. And when the Holy Spirit confronts a lost person with his or her sin, that person’s fear may lead them to repentance and salvation in Jesus. That is a “saving” fear.
However, the fear we experience after making our own decisions instead of exercising faith in God and using godly reason is sinful fear. This sinful fear “has to do with punishment” (1 John 4:18).
“for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” 2 Timothy 1:7
God has blessed us with the ability to fear. His intent is for our fear to always be a “saving” fear. “So don’t be afraid.” (Matthew 10:31) When we yield our gift of fear to anyone or anything other than God, we are headed for trouble.