I was up late last night. Very late. I found myself on a bridge over a busy highway in a bad part of town at one point at 2:00am, when reasonable people are in bed. When I had completed my task I started walking back to my car. A sketchily dressed man was walking in front of me. He was clothed in drooping pants, a t-shirt, and another shirt draped over his shoulder. My Hawaiian shirt and clean cut appearance screamed "outsider!" He never looked back. He most probably saw me well before I saw him. I wondered if he was just coming back from a bar or if he was a gang member or just general hoodlum. He kept walking. I got in my truck and drove off without incident.
After I had slept some, I awoke with the thought that maybe he HAD to dress that way to be respected in his community. Maybe he is really a nice guy getting off his late work shift and he was attired in that manner so the bad people would think he was also dangerous and respect him enough not to bother him.
When did we, as a society, start thinking fear was respect? No one respects terror. Fear is tyranny, but is most certainly not the same thing as respect. People used to dress like that man and were dismissed as unimportant. They were bums. They were not respected. Then something happened and the bums became violent and feared. Now, that is the fashion. Fear as fashion to gain respect. The two are not equal. I see people dressed as gangsters and I don't respect them. They look like humanities's garbage. I don't have respect, but I do have fear of them. It is not possible to tell the good from the bad, anymore. (Let's not bring our politicians into this - we are discussing street thugs).
The Holy Bible tells us that we should "fear" the Lord. But if you STUDY your Bible and not just read it, you would understand that the use of the word "fear" is not conveying a sense of tyranny. It conveys a sense of awe and wonderment.
From www.hebrew4christians.com :
The word translated "fear" in many versions of the Bible comes from the Hebrew word yirah (יִרְאָה), which has a range of meaning in the Scriptures. Sometimes it refers to the fear we feel in anticipation of some danger or pain, but it can also can mean "awe" or "reverence." In this latter sense, yirah includes the idea of wonder, amazement, mystery, astonishment, gratitude, admiration, and even worship (like the feeling you get when gazing from the edge of the Grand Canyon). The "fear of the LORD" therefore includes an overwhelming sense of the glory, worth, and beauty of the One True God.
Some of the sages link the word yirah (יִרְאָה) with the word for seeing (רָאָה). When we really see life as it is, we will be filled with wonder and awe over the glory of it all. Every bush will be aflame with the Presence of God and the ground we walk upon shall suddenly be perceived as holy (Exod. 3:2-5). Nothing will seem small, trivial, or insignificant. In this sense, "fear and trembling" (φόβοv καὶ τρόμοv) before the LORD is a description of the inner awareness of the sanctity of life itself (Psalm 2:11, Phil. 2:12).
From biblehub.com :
Cognate: 2317 theosébeia – properly, God-fearing (veneration); godly respect, reverence (used only in 1 Tim 2:10). See 2318 (theosebēs).
You can see from both the Hebrew use of "fear" and Greek use of "fear" that the fear we are to have of God is not the type that conveys tyranny or threat of suffering. It is respect.