Are you God-fearing... or God-loving?

by - May 13, 2017

"She is a God-fearing girl..." That line has always made me wonder.
I know we say it in a good sense and I know it is a common phrase but hear me out.

Why do you pray to God?
Why do you attend Sunday mass or take fasts on particular holy months or conduct pujas for deities? Why do you go to temples, churches, mosques et al? Even when you go dark and participate in all these wars both offline and online to prove your God is awesome and everyone else's God is apparently unworthy of Thor's hammer... is all of this because you are scared your God will be angry if you don't defend him? Or is it the love for him that fuels your convictions? (The fact that no benevolent God would want you to kill or harm anyone to defend images, forms or concepts attributed to him or her is a different topic altogether.) 
If the only thing that is stopping you from doing the wrong thing is that God will get angry and punish you for it, you need to re-evaluate your relationship with God. If someone breaks a dictum attributed to your religion (like say, a Sikh removing his turban and exposing his hair in public like Harman Singh did to save a child), do you consider it wrong that he chose humanity over the very clear religious rules written ages ago? His choice saved a life and yet, when I was researching the article, I came across random comments online talking of how what he did was not right as per religious rules.

It reminded me of the nagging thought behind this post, to be honest - because as a God-loving person, Harman Singh knew the child needed him at that moment more than a rule set by God. But as a God-fearing person, he would not have dared removed his turban, would he? I personally have no doubt he did the right thing. But there are those who had an issue with it. Just as there are those who have an issue with an Islamic woman not covering her head, a Hindu eating beef, a Jew eating bacon and so on. Because your particular religion tells you it is wrong.

Loving God is different. You do all the same things - visit the religious sites and fast for a month - but you do it because you respect what the big G represents. There is no intimidation factor, no fear of lightning striking you down. Even if you knew God was not noting down your sins in his pink unicorn diary, you would still choose to follow the right principles and be good. And you would not allow your love for God to affect your care for his creations on Earth.

In the end, this is a relationship just like every other one you have with people around you and yet a relationship like no other because of how unique it is. And therein lies the rub. Is a relationship based on fear - even with God - a good relationship?

I know it feels like semantics. A matter of word play. But I feel it is significant, nonetheless.
God-fearing conjures up an image of a whip-wielding angry dude with cringing humans below whereas God-loving instantly portrays a positive image of both the one above and the person we are talking about.

I would want people who are God-loving in my life, whose choice of good deeds and actions come from within their 'human' nature and are independent of 'aiming to reach heaven or appease God'.

What do you think? Do you think I have a point or is this just much ado over a few words?
Do tell me what you think in the comments section below.

I am linking this to Shanaya's #ChattyBlogs (you can read articles by other authors here.)

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  1. God-loving is how I'd describe myself. For me, the written word isn't as important as the circumstance that demands an action that stems from love. That's what my God prescribes and that is what I believe. I abide by the live and let live policy. It keeps me happy and others as well.

  2. I have a very complicated relationship with God, so I am not sure what to say here. I have a lot of questions churning in my mind. For me, it's a feeling - saying a namaste to him everyday. Like we respect to our elders or good, kind people. A feeling that maybe someone is guiding us and it makes you feel light and thankful. I seriously don't expect anything from him as I don't believe he would answer. I believe things happen (more likely to happen if I don't ask for :)) or don't happen. It's more about your efforts or maybe destiny. However, God-Loving sounds good. I don't believe he/she gets angry easily or how he would be different from humans? :)

    Very thoughtful post.

  3. Why do we pray?
    there are many answers to this question. right from childhood a child after bath is asked to go to the pooja room/corner , fold the hands and pray. pray to thank God, ask for something etc. maybe the child is not explained the reason/logic behind this ritual and the child continues to follow tradition which becomes a habit. if the child dares to ask the logic, he may not be given a convincing answer. and the ritual continues.

  4. This is very debatable topic.I do believe in God, but at times I feel it's more of fear than love honestly..

  5. God fearing is the term I would not endorse either. For that matter, any ritual based on God will be upset always made me question it. But otherwise, I believe in a Supreme Power and respect other beliefs as well as long as they don't shove it down my throat.

  6. This is a question I've often thought about too. If God commanded and demanded such fear, does that not make him/her petty and vengeful? How does one equate petty/vengeful to all-powerful? If God is as all powerful as they say, would he/she be affected by trivial things as breaking the rules, which the messengers wrote?
    God-loving, God-respecting, even God-acknowledging sound ok. God-fearing - cultlike and contradictory to everything else God stands for.

  7. I would like to believe I am God-loving, because while I am spiritual, I am not ritualistic at all. And I have heard those same lines many times - on how these rituals are important, and rejecting them is rejecting God. But I don't believe that at all; my love is not measured by whether I follow the motions or not. The love I feel for the supernatural power is a more deep and enduring kind of love, which doesn't need any ritualistic reinforcements.

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  9. I do believe in God. Thanks for sharing.


Let me know what you think.