Where does fear come from?
I’m not talking about the fight or flight fear.
Like when you would encounter a bear on a hiking path.
I’m thinking about the fear of worry.
Say we believe we made a mistake at work.
We could spend hours thinking of what to do so we don’t look bad.
Or we fear what people may say about us when they find out we’re Christian.
Or the fear of persecution.
Or the fear of God’s judgement.
Or the fear of death.
We find out in 1 John 4:18 the answer is love.
Not Just any Love but Perfect Love
There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. (ESV)
This is love raised to the higher power.
Not just the love God has for us.
Not just the love we have for God.
Not just the love we have for fellow Christians.
It’s all this combined.
Love says there is a relationship – there is an attraction.
Fear is the opposite – fear means there is a repulsive force.
Fear creeps in when love is not perfect. Love is not perfect when selfishness is present.
If I say I love to take advantage of someone I do not have perfect love. I would fear being found out.
Fear not only has punishment. It is punishment. It is us punishing ourselves.
When we fear we are distressed by imagined outcomes that would harm us.
It’s like we become a slave of fear. As long as fear continues we are in bondage to fear.
So the Apostle John is telling us that we should only love in truth. Selfishness removes love from us.
We perfect our love when it is sincere. It also perfects our faith.
When we sincerely love fear can’t be part of us. There is no room for it.
We not only love fellow Christians; we love non-believers as potential children of God; we love them enough to tell them about the Gospel.
What About You
What are your thoughts?
Is fear a tool of Satan?
If we fear want should we do?
How do we connect with perfect love?
How do we explain perfect love when we are making disciples?