There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love.
1 John 4:18
The last couple of years I've focused a lot on stepping away from fear, and moving towards love. What are some of the reasons I do what I do, and say what I say? What about you? Fear has sometimes driven my motives. Fear of judgment, fear of pain, fear of rejection. What motivates you? Do you get up in the morning and get ready for your day because you love what you do and you love the people you will see? Or, do you get yourself out the door because if your late there is fear of loosing your job, your friends, or reputation? Does love move you to greater lengths and deeper places in your relationships, or does fear creep in and cause you to loose authenticity? How would your life be different if you did not experience fear? What would a life of perfect love actually look like when it comes to day to day living?
I think fear creates chaos. It can drive us to be too busy, too often. Fear overtakes our lives sometimes, and we don't even know it. I've been afraid that if I don't push myself to show how much I love, then I won't be loved. Or, afraid that there just won't be enough money to go around, so I have to work harder and longer. Or, afraid that someday I might just be all alone. Or, here's one, afraid that if I don't push my kids enough, teach them enough, keep them busy enough, they will be unproductive adults. Have you noticed the motives? Fear.
So, now that I'm in my second year of really focusing on love instead of fear, I can report that things are different. Slower, actually. Fear still creeps in, but I'm recognizing it much faster now, and I ask myself why I'm allowing it to motivate me. Love is not pushy. Love is not afraid of being punished. Love stands solidly on the firm foundation of all that God says, and takes one day at a time. Fear lies everytime, working hard to convince you and me that tragedy is just around the corner unless our behaivor caves in to fears desires.
What is your fear saying to you today? How can you replace it with love?