One of the seven Sanctifying Gifts of the Spirit (the Isaiah gifts) is Fear of the Lord. We are told that this really means “reverential awe.” While this is true, for many the explanation just doesn’t seem to compute.

Two young men were discussing plans for the weekend. One was planning a drinking binge, but his friend said, “I’m not going to drink and drive. If I were caught by the police and thrown into jail for DUI it would crush my mother. I’m deathly afraid of hurting her, so I absolutely will not drink and drive!”

This young man’s "fear of hurting" was rooted in love. The foundation of the fear was not terror, but a deep respect and love for his mother. His heart was afraid of anything that would hurt her.

Fear of the Lord — fear of offending Him — is wrapped up in a package whose foundation is respect, awe, and intense love.

What a tremendous Sanctifying Gift.