Some people think that fearing Hashem means walking around shaking in fright all day. They think yirat shamayim means being unhappy and nervous.
That is a mistake and misconception that is not true at all.
Yirat shamayim can be explained with a parable. Imagine a man holding his young son as he climbs a hill. He is holding on tight because he does not want to lose his balance. The man is well aware that if he trips, he could drop his son and the child could get seriously injured.
Yirat shamayim is just like the fear the father feels as he keeps a tight grip on his son to make sure that he does not fall.
Meaning, there is nothing better than when a person has a real relationship with G-d. That relationship is so wonderful. One will find that if they merit such a connection, they will always be afraid of it vanishing. The fear of losing that relationship with our Creator is known as yirat shamayim.
If someone wants to visit a friend but is aware that the peer lives in an area where they will be unable to guard their eyes, that person should be afraid. But, one will question what exactly is there to fear of such a place? This person should not only be afraid of the sin; rather, they should mostly be afraid of losing their relationship with G-d.
Our relationship with Hashem is so special and so meaningful that we should be scared to lose it by going to such a place.
That’s what yirat shamayim really means.
We always must be scared that going to certain environments, hanging out with certain people, and watching or listening to certain material might cause us to lose our relationship with Him. It is best to stay away.
Our love of Hashem should be so strong that it is not worth the gamble to go near any location where we may, chat v’shalom, fall to sin.
That is the meaning of one who is a G-d-fearing individual.
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