I was reading through Revelation 1 yesterday when I stumbled on a passage that had a very intriguing setup.
John describes a powerful, majestic, and terrifying incarnation of Christ. But immediately following this description, Christ says, “Do not be afraid.”
It’s almost as if he’s saying, “Look at what I did for you. I am the Eternal One, and yet I stooped down to experience death for you. But I didn’t stop there. I destroyed death so that you wouldn’t have to taste it. I control Hell so you won’t have to go there. So yeah, there’s no reason to be afraid.”
But if we’re honest, we’ll admit that fear is what drives our lives.
If you’ve followed my blog for any length of time, you’ve seen that I’m obsessed with the concept of love. It’s fascinating to me because it’s probably one of the greatest mysteries of our humanity, yet it’s the most common aspect of our lives. It’s also (supposed to be) the defining point of Christians. (I’ll refrain from my rant about Christians’ failure to exhibit this feature.)
So here’s an interesting thought about love and fear. . .
Love, in its purest form, is completely fearless.
Odd, isn’t it? I mean, fear and love seem to go hand-in-hand. We’re afraid to love because we might get burned.
Or the love won’t be reciprocated.
Or we might be taken advantage of.
All legitimate fears. But none have any place near love.
Check this out.
God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. In this way, love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment, because in this world we are like him. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.
~1 John 4.18
I strive to love perfectly, flawlessly, purely. Yet I’m held back by fear. And I think it’s this fear that is crippling me and keeping me from becoming the man that God is calling me to be.
Fear destroys love. The most common command in the Bible is “Do not be afraid” or some variation of it. I think it’s time I start obeying this command.