When I was growing up the Christianity that was presented to us was a dry mix of fear and morality.
God was an enforcer of moral rules.
But later there was a rumor from the East that God was the Beloved.
This was much better. But it was only a rumor. There was no evidence of this in our Churches.
When; through prayer, contemplation, and love; I finally drew closer to God it became apparent that God was indeed the Beloved. The way was the way of the heart. And everything flowed from that.
To have compassion and mercy was to have a soft heart.
The opposite of this was fear - fear of punishment, fear of hell.
But hell is out of character for a loving God.
You have nothing to fear from God.
Follow your heart.
It leads to the Beloved.
"'"You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind."'" Matthew 22:37 (NRSV)
"'"You shall love your neighbor as yourself."'" Matthew 22:39a (NRSV)
"'Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you.'" Luke 6:27,28 (NRSV)
These are the primary teachings of Jesus.
Follow them and you will find the Beloved.
[Scripture quotations (marked NRSV) are taken from the New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A., and are used by permission. All rights reserved.]