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Thursday, May 26, 2016

Learning That Love Drives Out the Fear in Relationships

In review of 1 John 4:18 it says, “Love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it … shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love”

Bottom Line:
There is no fear in love, perfect love expels all fears. If have fear in loving, it's because you have not really experienced his love.

What this means to me:
There is no fear in love, because a perfect love expels all fears. If we are afraid it only indicates that I have not fully experienced his perfect love.

Today's passage comes from the latter part of 1 John 4 where John speaks to us of loving one another. John says we can continue to love because love comes from God. If we do not love, then we really don't know God, because God is love. God showed how much he loved us by sending his one and only Son into the world so that we might have eternal life through him.  This is real love, not that we loved God, but that he loves us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.

Since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other. God has given us his Spirit as proof that we live in him and he in us, and his love is brought to full expression in us.

As we live in God, our love grows more perfect. Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love. So we love each other because he loved us first.

So when people say, “I hate you!” in relationships, it’s often a sign that somebody’s trying to control somebody else. If we were to probe into what’s beneath that control, we would find It’s fear. Insecurity will cause me to try to control others or resist the control of others. If I become so insecure that all I think about is what others think of me, it will destroy my relationships and disable a joyful life.

It’s an amazing dilemma, I long to be close, but I also fear being close. I long to have intimacy with others, but I’m also scared to death of it.

This insecurity is preventing intimacy and destroying my relationships. I can’t get close to somebody if there’s fear in the relationship. So, If insecurity destroys relationships, then what builds them? Love! Love builds relationships.

The Bible says in 1 John 4:18, “Love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it … shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love” (NLT). How does that work? How does love expel all fear?

Love will take the focus off of me and put it on others. I need to learn to get the focus off of myself and focus on the people in my midst instead. If I stood there thinking about what they thought of my hairstyle, I would have something to be afraid of, right? But the minute I start thinking about how much I love my church family and how we serve God together, all of a sudden the fear is gone.

I’m thinking it’s the same in any relationship. Focusing on the other person gives me the power to throw fear out in my life.

So how do I find that power to focus on other people? I start by realizing how much God loves me. I begin to understand how much God loves me, and that I don’t need to prove myself any more. I don’t have to spend my life trying to impress others, because I already know that God loves me.

As I become more secure in my relationship with Christ, I’m no longer pressured by everybody else’s expectations. God’s love frees me to love others fearlessly.

Today, I’ll consider what insecurities or fears keep me from opening my life and heart to someone, whether it’s a friend, spouse, or family member?

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