Have you ever played truth or dare? Have you ever been fearful of someone asking you to play? I don’t know about you, but at one time in my life, I avoided playing the game because I knew I would have to choose the dare; that was sometimes a bit scary as well but at least whatever I was asked to do was better than taking a chance on what the question might be.
In this regard, the story of David hits home for me. David went to great lengths to hide the truth out of fear of what he did with Bathsheba. He tried to cover his sin, which led to more corruption and deceit, to the point that he had her husband sent to the front lines of battle and killed (2 Sam. 11:1-27, ESV).
At one time in my life, before I became a Christ follower, I was terrified of someone finding out about my dark secrets. I also went to great lengths to cover them up. I got good at half-truths because I did not want to be a liar deep down. One weekend I even sold my vehicle after being paranoid that someone saw it parked where it should not have been.
This is a miserable way to live. My fear manifests itself as panic attacks. I had never experienced them before, but I began to wake up gasping for air in the middle of the night. The doctors performed many tests on my heart without a clear cause, and they never called them panic attacks; that is my hindsight diagnosis. I can now see that no human test could have found what was wrong with my heart; that had to come from God several years later.
My fears were misplaced. Reasonable fear is of the Lord (Eccl. 12:13). I can also relate to David’s plea to God after being confronted by Nathan for going in with Bathsheba, “Create in me a clean heart, O God and renew a right heart within me” (Ps. 51:10). Proper fear keeps us aligned with God’s desires for us. When our heart is right with God, our desires align with His because He is the One we most desire (Ps. 37:4).