The boy is frightened but Is fear a sin?

Is Fear a Sin in the Bible? (Thoroughly Answered)

Hey there! Everyone of us occasionally feels fear, which is a normal human feeling. Some of us might be scared of spiders, while others might dread public speaking. From personal anxieties to global concerns, fears come in all shapes and sizes. So, in this article, we’ll answer the question, “is fear a sin in the Bible?” as we analyze the idea of fear and whether the Bible identifies it as a sin.

Is It Normal to Fear?

Absolutely! Fear is a normal, biological response that has helped humans survive throughout history. It warns us of prospective threats and guides our decision-making for self-defense. In fact, it would be pretty strange if we didn’t experience fear at all!

Read also: Is It a Sin to Fall Asleep While Praying?

The Question: Is Fear a Sin in the Bible?

We can now go on to the major issue: Is fear seen as a sin in the Bible, given that it is a common and natural feeling. This is an interesting subject because the Bible has a lot to say about fear. Together, we’ll explore various perspectives and interpretations of this intriguing question. So, stay tuned and let’s find out if fear is really a sin in the eyes of the Bible!

When we talk about fear from a biblical perspective, it’s important to understand what the term means in this context. In the Bible, fear is often used to describe a deep sense of awe and reverence for God. This type of fear, known as the “fear of the Lord,” is seen as a healthy and positive aspect of our relationship with God. It’s about recognizing His power and authority and being motivated to live in accordance with His will.

The Bible also acknowledges other types of fear that are negative in nature. These can include fear of punishment, fear of failure, fear of the unknown, and fear of others. These types of fear can lead to feelings of anxiety, doubt, and insecurity, which can prevent us from living a fulfilling and purposeful life.

The Relationship Between Fear and Righteousness

The relationship between fear and righteousness in the Bible is quite an interesting one. Let’s explore this together.

Firstly, it’s essential to understand that the term ‘fear’ in the Bible often refers to a deep sense of awe, respect, and reverence for God, rather than the common understanding of fear as being scared or frightened. This kind of fear is often called the “fear of the Lord,” and it plays a significant role in the believer’s journey in pleasing the Lord.

In the Bible, fear of the Lord is considered the beginning of wisdom and understanding (Proverbs 9:10). It’s a key element in developing a proper relationship with God, leading us to obey His commandments and walk in His ways. By cultivating this fear, we become more sensitive to His guidance and receptive to His corrections, which in turn helps us grow in righteousness.

Righteousness, on the other hand, refers to living in accordance with God’s moral standards and being in a right relationship with Him. It’s a state of being that reflects a genuine commitment to following God’s will and upholding His values.

In many instances throughout the Bible, fear of the Lord and righteousness are closely connected. For example, in Psalm 111:10, it says, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow his precepts have good understanding. To him belongs eternal praise.” Here, we see that fear of the Lord lays the foundation for living a righteous life.

Similarly, in Proverbs 14:27, it states, “The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life, turning a person from the snares of death.” In this context, fear of the Lord acts as a protective force that keeps us on the path of righteousness and steers us away from the pitfalls of sin and destruction.

So, the relationship between fear and righteousness in the Bible is one of mutual reinforcement. The fear of the Lord drives us to live righteous lives, while righteousness, in turn, nurtures our reverence and awe for God. This beautiful interplay helps us grow closer to God and experience His blessings in our lives.

The Relationship Between Fear and Sin According to the Bible

In the Bible, fear and sin share an interesting connection. Fear can lead to sin, but also, sin can give rise to fear. Let’s take a closer look at how these two concepts are related, shall we?

First, fear can push people to sin. For example, when we’re afraid, we might make decisions we wouldn’t usually make. Remember when Peter denied Jesus three times out of fear (Matthew 26:69-75). It was his fear that led him to sin by denying his relationship with Jesus.

On the other hand, sin can also lead to fear. When we do something wrong, we might become afraid of the consequences, or we might be fearful of what others might think of us. Remember Adam and Eve. After they ate the forbidden fruit, they felt fear and tried to hide from God (Genesis 3:8-10).

Now, it’s also important to mention that the Bible encourages us to overcome fear. For instance, 1 John 4:18 says, “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” Here, we see that love has the power to overcome fear.

In a nutshell, fear and sin can sometimes fuel each other.

When Fear is Not a Sin

Biblical Examples of Righteous Fear:

Imagine yourself standing in the shoes of Moses, the wise men and some of the servants of Pharoah. Each of these biblical figures faced daunting challenges, yet they managed to overcome them through their deep reverence for and fear of God. Let’s take a closer look at these inspiring stories and see how they can teach us to embrace the power of righteous fear in our own lives.

Picture Moses, a simple shepherd, suddenly confronted with the burning bush. In this awe-inspiring moment, his fear and respect for the divine presence are palpable. But instead of letting this fear overwhelm him, he allows it to guide him towards accepting the monumental responsibility of leading the Israelites out of Egypt. Moses’ righteous fear opened him up to embrace his destiny and follow God’s will, even when it seemed impossible.

The wise men’s encounter with Herod presents another example of righteous fear in action. After hearing of Jesus’ birth, these wise men were faced with a dilemma: should they obey King Herod and report Jesus’ location or follow the warning from God and protect the newborn king? Their choice to fear God over Herod demonstrated a profound understanding of divine priorities. By putting God’s will first, the wise men made a righteous decision that protected Jesus and his family.

Also, let’s take a closer look at some of the Pharaoh’s servants mentioned in Exodus 9:20. It says, “Those who respected the LORD’s word among Pharaoh’s servants hurried to bring their servants and livestock inside.” Their fear and respect for God’s word motivated them to act, ultimately saving their servants and cattle. In the same way, having the fear of the Lord can help protect our souls from the dreadful day of judgment.

Real-Life Examples of Righteous Fear:

Often, we view fear as a negative emotion, one that we should avoid or suppress. However, fear can also be a powerful motivator, guiding us to make better decisions and even grow as individuals. 

Firstly, let’s consider the role of fear in protecting our loved ones. As parents, we naturally fear for our children’s safety, which can lead us to take necessary precautions. By teaching our children about safety measures and setting boundaries, we demonstrate our love and concern for their well-being. This fear is not only justifiable but can also be seen as righteous, as it drives us to create a safer environment for our children.

Fear can also guide us in making wise decisions. In situations where we might face danger or potential harm, fear can serve as a warning signal, urging us to avoid risky situations or take steps to protect ourselves. This can apply to various aspects of our lives, such as our health, finances, or relationships. By acknowledging and acting on our fears, we demonstrate prudence and foresight, ultimately leading to better outcomes.

Don’t you know that the fear of hell fire, can turn one to Christ? Yes! No matter what turns you to God, what matters is that you are turned to God.

Also, fear of the unknown can be righteous when it prompts us to embrace change and rely on our faith. As we navigate life’s transitions and uncertainties, our fears can remind us of the importance of spiritual growth and resilience. By turning to our faith and trusting in a higher power, we can find solace and strength to face the unknown, transforming our fear into a source of personal growth.

When Fear is Sinful

Biblical Examples of Sinful Fear:

Fear and lack of faith are powerful emotions that can lead us astray, and the Bible is filled with stories illustrating how these emotions can shape the lives of its characters. 

Abraham and Sarah’s story in Genesis 12:11-13 is an example of fear leading to deceit. When Abraham and his wife arrived in Egypt, he feared for his life and lied to the Egyptians, telling them that Sarah was his sister instead of his wife. This lack of faith in God’s protection pushed him to lie in order to protect himself. His actions demonstrate that fear can drive us to make decisions that go against our faith and beliefs.

The Israelites’ fear became evident at the Red Sea in Exodus 14:10-12. Upon seeing the approaching Egyptian army, they were filled with panic and began complaining to Moses. This fear and lack of faith in God’s plan led them to long for their former lives as slaves in Egypt. Their story serves as a reminder that fear can cloud our judgment, causing us to forget the greater purpose behind our spiritual journey.

Again, we can learn from Peter’s experience of walking on water in Matthew 14:28-31. Initially, Peter bravely stepped out of the boat and walked towards Jesus. However, as he focused on the stormy waves surrounding him, his faith wavered and fear took over, causing him to sink. This event illustrates how a lack of faith and trust in Jesus can lead to our spiritual downfall.

Real-Life Examples of Sinful Fear:

One common fear that many of us experience is the fear of rejection. This fear often causes us to shy away from pursuing meaningful relationships or taking risks in our journey of faith. When we let the fear of rejection guide our actions, we hinder our growth and obstruct the path to fulfilling God’s purpose for our lives. 

Another fear that can be crippling is the fear of failure. This fear leads us to avoid challenges or opportunities, ultimately preventing us from reaching our full potential. 

The fear of man is another example of a sinful fear that plagues many individuals. Worrying about the opinions of others can cause us to compromise our beliefs or values. When we allow others’ opinions to influence our decisions, we prioritize pleasing people over pleasing God. 

Lastly, the fear of the unknown can cause us to become paralyzed by anxiety. When we’re afraid of the future or unexpected changes, we may find it difficult to step out in faith and embrace the new opportunities God provides. This sinful fear holds us back from experiencing the fullness of life that God intends for us through Jesus Christ. 


The question is, “is fear a sin in the bible? The answer is, ‘it depends.” Fear is not inherently a sin according to the Bible. Fear is an emotion that can be both helpful and hindering. 

Read also: Does God love me even though I keep sinning?

It is sinful when we fear man or anything else more than we fear God. Remember the scripture in Isaiah 8:13 NLT, “Do not fear anything except the Lord Almighty. He alone is the Holy One. If you fear him, you need fear nothing else.” Fear can lead to sinful behavior if it causes individuals to lose trust in God or act against His teachings. As long as believers strive to overcome their fears through faith and reliance on God, fear itself is not considered sinful.

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