Can fear be a sin?


I am trying to change my ways and live a better Christian lifestyle (a life more pleasing to the Lord). I know temptation will always be hounding me, but I know the Lord will provide me a way out. However, I want to know if fear can be considered a temptation? Like the fear of never being forgiven even after you've confessed?


A better word for what you are describing is "doubt." It is a lack of trust, either in God, the Bible, or your ability to carry out what God said. Doubt is the opposite of faith.

When we pray to God, James tells us that it must be without doubt. "But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways" (James 1:6-8). If you aren't confident that God will answer your prayer, then why bother. It reminds me of the boy who knocked on my door and said, "You don't want to buy a magazine do you?" He defeated himself with his opening line. "I desire therefore that the men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting" (I Timothy 2:8).

Doubt is one of Satan's great tools. It was through doubt that Satan convinced Eve to sin (Genesis 3:1-6). Eve was confident in what she knew until Satan introduced the idea that things might not be exactly as she thought them to be. In the same way, if Satan convinces a person that God won't really forgive him, despite what God said, then that person will eventually become overwhelmed with guilt and will give up.

As we grow in our love for God, that love pushes aside our fears. "There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love" (I John 4:18). Not "perfect" in the sense of without flaw, but perfect in the sense of maturity and completeness. The losing of doubts is a process of growing in love. "For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind" (II Timothy 1:7).

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