Even if you’ve never cracked open a Bible in your life, you’ve probably heard the scripture in 1 John 4 that tells us “God is Love”. Well, to put it bluntly, we’ve lost sight of that. We have forgotten it. We’ve watered this section of scripture down so much, that it has become dangerous, spiritual malnutrition, to the point that we may not know what Love is.
Our view of what Love is has become so delicate and conditional. Love is meant to be powerful, robust, strong and a powerful transforming force. I don’t believe most people get to experience that. They wind up truly identifying with this song.
We are so desperate to experience this, we may be confusing it with something else. Something much different. Something drastically opposite of what it really is and meant to be. Fear.
When I say it like that, it seems outlandish. Well, maybe not.
You’re listening to Living the Freedom Life podcast and this is episode number 93. Today we’re talkin about Love and Fear.
I’m going to start out by just simply reading some instructions for us all.
7 Let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Anyone who does not love, does not know God, because God is love.
9 In this, the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. 10 In this, is love, not that we have loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.
13 By this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit. 14 And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. 15 Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. 16 So, we have come to know and to believe the love, that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. 18 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. 19 We love because he first loved us. 20 If anyone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot[a] love God whom he has not seen. 21 And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother. Retrieved link
Here are some examples of Love that I’ve experienced and what I try to give to others.
Love is so deeply invested in the well-being of others, it doesn’t hesitate to do hard things and explain the motivation.
Love is determined to see someone differently than they see themselves, especially when their own view is less than their created design.
Love doesn’t tolerate harmful beliefs or behaviors, it doesn’t back down or is fearful of offense, and calls us up to our intended greatness
Love refuses to turn a Blind Eye in order to enable dysfunction.
Love will do what is right and healthy even when it costs in other arenas.
Here is how a friend of mine explains our confusion of Love and Fear:
Sheltering or protecting people from hurt feelings, by allowing self-harm or their harmful beliefs, is not love, it’s fear.
Protecting people from offense by compromising or fabricating a truth, is not love, it’s fear.
Protecting people from hard experiences by expecting the circumstances to change instead of expecting people to mature is not love, it’s fear. And that cripples their healthy emotional development and maturity. This is a huge contributor to why we have so many man/childs today.
We are so fearful because we have the belief that we are protecting people by preventing offense, correction, and applying discipline in their life to spur on maturity. This isn’t conforming, it is being responsible and a productive member of society, not just when people are looking, this is about character. Character is who a person is when there is no accountability and no one is looking. No wonder we are so fearful. And we’ve called it protecting others.
Knowing the difference between these two may seem like it’s circumstantial to be black and white. It’s not. But we have watered down what love is to the point where we don’t know what it is, we doubt how to show it, and we don’t trust it. All of which are a lie that we’ve fallen for.
It’s time to refamiliarize ourselves with the truth of what Love is, how it is expressed, how to receive it, and how to give it to others.
THIS is the meaning behind our tag line “We give away what we have, let’s make sure we receive life”.
Living the Freedom Life, this is Kyle