We like our fears. That may seem to not make sense at first thought, but it’s true. We have them for a reason, they aren’t handed down and given to us. We are put in situations were certain fears are likely to arise, but the reason they stay with us is because of us.
If we have a fear of offending someone, for example, that fear allows us to not be bold. If we have a fear of being seen as a weak leader, that fear allows us to not be vulnerable in community. If we fear not being prepared for the future that will keep us a workaholic. If we fear not having the right answer that will keep us from our neighbors.
We hold on to our fears like a toddler does a security blanket, afraid of what might happen if it’s let go. Afraid to face the world without it.
And we love them, embrace them, feed them and care for them. Then we feel guilty for having them in the first place.
Through the power of the gospel, God says this to you in 1 John 4:18: My perfect love casts out your fear. The only way to dispense with our fears that we love so much is for the love of something else to break through.
God’s love is perfect and it comes to infiltrate every part of our being. You have fears. Fears that you love. The answer is not to “fear less” but to love more. Love that is directed away from our fear and towards our Father is a supernatural love. It can only be done by the Spirit, who is already active in a Christian’s life.
A lack of fear looks like loads of love. Afraid of what to say or not say to your neighbor? What if you had more love for your neighbor such that you would invite them over to dinner anyway? Afraid of not being prepared enough for the future? What if you lived out of the reality that God loves you more than you think and He actually is in control of your life? That might open you up to something more than 80 hour workweeks.
For every fear we have, God’s perfect love casts them out. And living in love is so much more enjoyable than living in fear. It’s worth the risk.