There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear.
1 John 4:18
In my life, I have learned I fear a lot of things. I’m afraid of climbing on shaky ladders, birds that can fly, and rats. I don’t like any of them. But I’ve also learned to fear some deeper things.
A lot of times, I’m afraid to go out on a limb for fear of being embarrassed. Some days I fear that as I struggle with feeling alone, I fear that I will always be alone. A lot of times I’m afraid to open up about various things to people because I’m afraid of what they’ll think of me.
And it’s really an awful way to live life.
Recently I’ve really been wrestling with the idea that there is no fear in love. What does that mean? If I’m afraid of something, does that make me unable to love?
Does this mean that if I have fears, I’ve never actually received love? Is it sinful to be afraid?
I think the idea here is that love does not simply eliminate fear, but rather, it plows right through it.
Read that again.
Love does not merely eliminate fear. Love plows through fear.
Why is that a big deal? Here is some really good news about love in regards to fear. Love is not bound by fear. Love is more powerful than fear. Getting rid of fear is not a prerequisite for finding love. Finding love is a prerequisite for getting rid of fear.
As I said earlier, I have a fear that if I put myself too far out there, I will be embarrassed and be filled with regret. But if I put myself out there for the sake of love, it is impossible to continue feeling that fear. Love is that powerful.
As I said earlier, I fear being alone, and whether or not feelings of loneliness will persist for my entire life. But you cannot love in isolation. Anytime that you love, you are never alone. You just gotta open your eyes.
As I said earlier, I sometimes fear opening up to people because they may not like what they here. But if love is honest (spoiler alert, it is), then people will at least appreciate the honesty. And people may even think less of you, but it is far better for someone to think less of you based on the truth than it is for them to think higher of you based on a lie. And that’s what love provides.
Fear is not an obstacle on your way to love. If fear is the problem, then love is the solution.
So how can you let love plow through your fears? Maybe you’re afraid of rejection. Maybe you’re afraid of embarrassment. Maybe you’re afraid you’re not good enough. Maybe you’re afraid of being alone. Maybe you’re afraid that you won’t find peace. Maybe you’re afraid of failure. I don’t know.
But one thing I do know is that love can plow through it all. And love is most clearly found in the good news that Jesus Christ loves you. He doesn’t care who you are. He doesn’t care what you’ve done. He doesn’t care what you are afraid of.
He wants you to live a life with him in perfect love. And he’s holding it out to you with an open hand. So what are you waiting for? Let him plow through your fears starting now. Tell him what you’re afraid of and ask him to show you how he can plow through that fear. I know he will.
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Mitch graduated from Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, IL, where he studied Evangelism and Discipleship with an emphasis in Intercultural Ministries. He blogs at his own website about how the Gospel impacts the way we ought our lives. He was a Golden State Warriors fan before it was cool and is considered a semi-professional Kan Jam player in his hometown.