And remember that the heavenly Father to whom you pray has no favorites. He will judge or reward you according to what you do. So you must live in reverent fear of him during your time here as “temporary residents.” For you know that God paid a ransom to save you from the empty life you inherited from your ancestors. And it was not paid with mere gold or silver, which lose their value.
1 Peter 1:17-18
Dear God, what does it mean to live in “reverent fear” of you? I think I have lived my life not as much fearing you as feeling a certain weight of accountability to you. I think that if any thought about you haunts me, it’s not a fear as much as it is a sense of, “How am I doing?”
Somewhere along the way in my life, I gained a great sense of duty. And, credit to my parents on this, I’m okay with submitting to authority. Even today, the nonprofit of which I’m the director will have board finance, executive, and fundraising committee meetings. People are going to be looking over my shoulder and seeing how I am doing, and I don’t mind. I think it’s appropriate. In fact, I get bothered and concerned if I perceive they aren’t doing it enough.
Well, I know you are doing it enough, and I know there are whole areas in my life in which I come up short—continuously. But that’s where verse 18 comes in, and I’m grateful I had a pastor when I was young who hammered home the idea of your love and grace. I don’t walk around feeling condemned by you for my failures, but welcomed by you to repent and move on.
Father, you know the current details of my life. From work, to family, to friends, to even my concerns about the world, I have a lot of living pieces about which I care. Please with your power and under your authority, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.
In Jesus’ name I pray,