Love versus Fear

“God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.”
(2 Timothy 1:7 ESV)

Love and fear are two of the most basic drivers of human beings and we can live out of one or the other. The way of Christ is the way of love. “He who fears has not been perfected in love” writes John, the beloved apostle (1 John 4:18). That is to say, it is possible to walk in love, without a trace of fear. This is Christian perfection, where Jesus desires to take us, to become like Him. At a Washington for Jesus rally an African American Bishop commented, “If you Christians ever get over your fear, you’re going to be dangerous.” The command “Do not fear” appears in the Bible over three hundred times! Safe to say, God wants us to be consumed by love, not driven by fear.

The apostle Paul tells us that anything we do as believers, however heroic or astonishing, must come from a place of love, otherwise it means nothing. The battle between love and fear is a big deal, and worth fighting for. God is love (1 John 4:16). That means He has no fear, no insecurity, no self-interest, no control or rejection issues, and He isn’t ashamed. And we are made in His image. To become full of His love is to become who we were always meant to be – completely free. What an inheritance! Take some time to mediate on the following truths about love and fear:

  • ·      Fear wants to control. Love trusts and lets go.
  • ·      God doesn’t control anyone. He gives us complete freedom. He loves and blesses those who care nothing for Him. Love never controls, but always sets free.
  • ·      Thomas Merton said, “The beginning of love is the will to let those we love be perfectly themselves, the resolution not to twist them to fit our own image.”
  • ·      Fear builds walls and creates distance – the opposite of intimacy.
  • ·      Fear breeds in the absence of love. Love casts out fear. Intimacy (being seen by God) drives out shame.
  • ·      Fearful people are likely to show you their worst. People who feel loved will show you their best.
  • ·      Love is not defensive because there is no fear in love. (1 John 4)
  • ·      Love celebrates what God has created. Love is happy in its own skin.
  • ·      Fear is faith in the wrong kingdom.
  • ·      Fear = Suspicion; Love = Trust (with discernment)
  • ·      Fearful people tend to dominate others and need others to make them look good. The most powerful people are rooted in love; they empower and serve others.
  • ·      Fearful people are concerned with survival, so put themselves first. Love-centred people live from a place of abundance, so can put others first.


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