Fear is a tool of the enemy. And let’s face it, it’s running rampant in our world, delivered to our front door by despots with guns, masked marauders and power-crazed politicians.
“He that feareth is not made perfect in love” 1 John 4:18c
This year, let’s agree together to give fear the boot.
We can do it when we are made perfect in love as the Apostle John wrote so many centuries ago.
Notice that scripture tells us exactly how to combat fear. With love.
But not just any love will do. It has to be perfect love.
Does this mean that if we’re resting in God’s love for us we’ll never feel afraid?
No, it doesn’t.
Emotions are part of the human experience. They’re here to stay. For now and into eternity.
Aren’t you glad?
If you gave up feelings, that means no happiness. Forget the giddy anticipation of a special day (or Christmas morning if you’re still as child-like as I am).
Emotions, like everything else, are only bad if we let them rule our decisions.
John is giving a reminder to believers in this verse. “If you’re feeling afraid (and more specifically paralyzed by that feeling), where is your agape (godly love)?”
The only way to conquer fear when it comes is to call the bouncer to oust it.
And perfect love—the love poured directly from God’s heart into ours when we become His child (Romans 5:5)—is the enemy of fear. Love will kick that bully right out of our hearts and minds.
That sounds great, right? Who wouldn’t want to wrest the power away from fear and give it to love?
“If a man say, I love God, and hates his brother, his is a liar” (1 John 4:20).
There’s a great discourse on perfect love in this chapter of John’s letter. But the bottom line in perfecting our love starts in living it out. Every day.
And that means treating others with the same compassion God extends. Even today, I wanted to be an agent of “tough love” when I knew Jesus was calling me to extend grace.
Why is it so hard to love unconditionally?
Because we’re sinners. We’re selfish. Our sight is so narrow, we can’t see the picture that God is painting in our lives.
When our love is perfect, we can be bold in God’s presence. We don’t fear His judgment because we’re walking in the footsteps of our Savior (1 John 4:17).
Say Goodbye to Torment
The best news: fear’s power over us isn’t mandatory.
Once we learn to love like God does and let His promises drown out fear’s dire predictions, we aren’t bothered by anxiety. Indecision won’t keep us from walking the path of righteousness.
In 2017, we can kick the tortuous fear bully to the curb. And it all starts with loving God the way He loves us.
What emotion is sidelining you today? Can you used these principles to loosen its grip on your life?