Watch your fear fade & love become natural…

‘And as we live in God, our love grows more perfect. So we will not be afraid on the day of judgment, but we can face him with confidence because we live like Jesus here in this world. Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love.’ 1 John 4:17-18 (NLT)

As I meditate on this verse, I feel myself leaning back into last week’s episodes on fear. A blog I wrote last week mentioned the idea that we fear because we feel we cannot control. Once again we see a similar theme in this verse. It says if we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment. We are afraid of the outcome – afraid of what might happen to us.

Let’s take this in the context of our week’s focus: families in crisis/loving the hard to love. What makes someone ‘hard to love’? Let’s be honest about this…it’s because 1) we don’t know how to relate 2) We are afraid of looking silly ourselves 3) We fear what others might think of us if we associate with certain people. True? Maybe I’m just speaking for me…<insert #vulnerabilityhangover again>

But I love what Jo shared…this verse reminds us that it is a process—we don’t just wake up one day loving perfectly. We grow into perfect love. If we start with the actions of love such as serving someone else, we will find that if we keep our thoughts in check, suddenly the love comes naturally. Following this, our fear of being unsure of relating to others, or looking silly, or what others think of us vanishes. Simply because we genuinely love. It’s almost like a new confidence washes over us.

I’ve always struggled with the idea of ‘perfect love’. Why? Because I am far from perfect. I think after this show, though, and meditating on this verse, I realize that if I start, and I keep my thoughts humble & in check with God’s Word, that He will give me His love for others as I ‘action’ in that direction. His love, is of course, perfect. It will no longer be about me – but will take my eyes off myself to see the others around me in their situations and where they need to be loved…therefore expelling the fear of what happens to me. Wow…I’m just gonna soak in this for a bit…and start loving others so I can peel my focus off myself.