From God-Fearing To God-Loving

Dear Readers,

“I’m a God-fearing person,” is a common statement most of us proudly proclaim, like we are brandishing some divine reference which instantly abolishes any potential of doubt or mistrust that anyone may hold against us… simply because we fear God! But then, don’t they say, it’s the guilty who are afraid? Now I’m not trying to split hairs on semantics at the start of the weekend, but it seems like most of us have forgotten that the essence of our religion, which is based on love and happiness, has absolutely no place for fear.

A lot of us could argue that the concept of being a good, ‘God-fearing’ Parsi, is meant in the spirit of respect and reverence. Then again, the basis of respect and reverence also lies in love. And this applies to prayer as much. When we pray, we aim to connect with our Creator in gratitude, in praise, in peace – these collectively form the very anti-thesis of fear!

Truth is, most of us are scared. We pray more out of a sense of habit than worship, and we conclude our prayers with the whole ‘asking for favours’ bit – mostly to do with safekeeping of one and one’s family, moving on to more material courtesies. And that’s when fear creeps in. It’s a vicious cycle – when our prayers get answered, we are grateful but this gratitude starts morphing into dependency on this ‘divine power’, which we now feel the need to appease, lest it stops answering our prayers. On the other hand, when our prayers don’t get answered, maybe this ‘divine power’ is angry/indifferent with us and that’s why our prayers remain unanswered! Sound familiar? If so, this would be a good time to reconsider how you define your sense of ‘worship’ and ‘prayer’, but most importantly, your connect with your God.

Our religion teaches us to love and respect our Creator – Ahura Mazda, and to rest assured in the truth that His love for all is unconditional. In short, there’s no room for fear. Maybe all of us could just be God-loving, instead of God-fearing, if only we quit the whole ‘asking’ bit, which is what gets us fearful in the first place. If we truly hold enough love and faith in our God and in our glorious religion, we know that we will receive all that was meant for us anyways – through serendipity or hard work.

The God-fearing live in mortal insecurity, uncertain of what the future holds, and unsure of their ability to work it out. So, they continue to exist is a constant state of ‘asking’ with God. The God-loving, on the other hand, live with the confidence, that no matter what life throws at them, God’s got their back, and so, they constantly live in a state of ‘thanking’ God… which is what true worship and true connect is all about – faith and gratitude. And the good news is, it’s never too late or too hard to change from being a ‘God-fearing’ Parsi to one that is ‘God-loving’! We just need to hold on stronger to our sense of Faith, instead of our penchant for Favour!

Have a good weekend!

– Anahita

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