Pages Navigation Menu

Sarah Starrenburg

The most common command in the Bible – and it’s probably not what you think

The most common command in the Bible – and it’s probably not what you think


The most common command in the Bible isn’t about money, or heaven and hell, or sex, or hypocrisy, or any of the ‘flashy’ stuff.

The most common command in the Bible, the one God makes a point of including again, and again, and a few more times for good measure, is this -

Don’t be afraid.

It’s not a warning about a sin that really outwardly seems to hurt anyone else but ourselves. Fear isn’t a particularly ‘scandalous’ sin. And yet the thing that God makes a point of telling his people more than anything else in his word, is to warn them to fear not.

So why is fear such a big deal? Why is it so crucial that it be banished from the believer’s life and soul?

Well, 1 John 4:18 tells us that “There is no fear in love. But perfect love casts out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.”

There is no fear in love.

So wherever there is fear in our lives, that is a part of us which we have not allowed God’s love to penetrate, and thus a part of us that cannot be used as a conduit of his love to those around us.

And we also know that the two most important commandments, according to Jesus, are to love God with all that we are and to love our neighbour as ourselves.

So – wherever we allow fear to continue to exist in our heart, that is a part of us that refuses the consuming love of God, and so as far as we are fearing, is the extent to which we are remaining disconnected from the greatest (and most fulfilling) calling and design for our lives.

I guess I can see why ‘do not be afraid’ was worth repeating a few times!

4 Comments

  1. Absolutely marvelous and just what we all need to hear! Thank you.

  2. Thanks – so glad it was helpful! :)

  3. Excellent! Thank you for writing this! I am in the middle of writing a post called “Why Fear Is Considered Rebellious” based on Psalm 106:7 and Exodus 14:1-4, and was Googling to make sure fear really WAS the #1 command in the Bible…and stumbled on your blog!
    The 1 John verse you posted was perfect, because my last post was on that “perfect love.”

    Don’t you love how Scripture all ties together? LOVE it. :D

    Keep writing!

  4. Great thank you! I work in college ministry and fear, especially in the form of anxiety and worrying are the biggest hindrance to the Gospel going forward. We need Christ’s perfect love to cast out all our fear.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. It All Matters | Ideas Change Everything - [...] a reason, though, that the most common command in the Bible is to not [...]
  2. Why Fear Is Considered Rebellious. | A Warm Cup - [...] As Sarah Starrenburg points out in her excellent post on fear:  [...]

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>