“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment…We love because he first loved us.” -1 John 4:18-19
Are you facing a complex issue right now? Are there decisions needing to be made, but the path isn’t totally clear yet? I’ve been there. And just recently, I’ve witnessed wrong decisions being made in a spirit of fear. And that’s a mess, so let’s consider this simple-not-easy concept for a moment.
Love drives out fear. Think less whip or bulldozer; more peace and perspective.
If you’re feeling anxious about the circumstances, ask yourself why? Are you afraid for your life? Your reputation? Your brand? Is it about money? The unknown?
Let’s name it before anything else. If you can name it, the thing automatically loses power. Take a moment… name the fear. What are you afraid might happen? What does that mean? Why is it an enduring fear that’s still haunting you? What does that tell you?
Next, let’s measure the fear against “punishment.” (See the verse above.) Is the fear connected to punishment? Guilt? Shame? Condemnation? Rejection?
If so, and you can see it and admit it, this is an open/shut, slam dunk evaluation and you can go forward confidently. There’s no condemnation because of Jesus. None. There’s one death, one resurrection, one salvation for humanity. It’s done… and it’s yours. (And it’s theirs, too.)
“Yeah, but there are still consequences.” Yep. Got it. And so be it. There are consequences for every action. And the worst consequences might be reserved for fear-based decisions. So let’s get this right.
What “consequences” or outcomes are you afraid of? Say them. List them.
Now, recognize this: There is no fear in love. As long as you’re viewing the situation through a lens of fear, you’re not going to act in love. You might say you’re acting in some generic, ethereal “love” of country, company, or campaign, but it’s just a cover-up for self-protection… which is what it always comes down to with fear.
Let love drive out fear. Embrace ultimate and eternal peace because of Jesus. Because He first loved us! What can humans do to you? You’re eternally secure; forever forgiven; spiritually spoken for… And if you’re doing your best to choose love over fear don’t you think the God who holds all things together in His hands will honor you if love is your aim?
Don’t over think it. And don’t make paranoid, fearful decisions. Wait, actively, until love clears the way. Then walk that path.