We have all experienced fear, and many can recall the typical childhood fear of the dark. As we mature, it is most likely that our fears mature as well.
Near the end of his 2nd letter to the Corinthian church, Paul describes two great fears he has concerning the Corinthian Christians. First, he is afraid that when he arrives for a visit, there will be division remaining in the congregation. In 2 Corinthians 12:20, Paul writes, “For I am afraid that perhaps when I come…there will be strife, jealousy, angry tempers, disputes, slanders, gossip, arrogance, disturbances.” Paul’s first fear or concern was for the health, fellowship, and unity of the Corinthian church. Second, Paul writes, “I am afraid that when I come again…many of those who have sinned in the past and not repented” would remain in their sinful state (12:21). Paul’s second great concern is for the souls of the individual Christian’s.
I would guess that Paul dealt with some of the same fears that we might struggle with today. As a child, he may have been afraid of the dark, but as he matured and grew in his faith, his greatest fears are for the church and the souls of her members. What is our greatest fear?