· 18 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. [1st John 4:18]
Is there anything that you are afraid of? Some people are afraid of spiders, snakes, and other various things. Some of our fears are relatively innocuous - like fear of spiders and like things. However, other of our fears cause us to act in ways that are terribly dangerous.
Sometimes we fear losing our job. This fear often makes us act in compromising ways. I had a friend tell me that his particular job asked him to, "cook the books" because they were being audited. The boss told him that the business would have to shut down unless my friend created some of these accounting scams and everyone would lose their job. My friend did it. [He told me all of this well after the point] When he told me this it was amazingly sad. But what drove him to do this? Fear. Fear that he would lose his job. Fear that his refusal would cause others' to lose their job. Fear often causes us to compromise.
Another situation is relationships. We sometimes are afraid of how others' will react to truth - and therefore we will fall to the temptation to lie. Under the guise of, "not wanting to hurt another's feelings" we will tell people what we think they want to hear - instead of the truth. We are afraid of confrontation so we do not confront. We simply stew - like a pot - until we blow.
Fear is an ugly thing. Fear can make us do very ugly things. And I think if we are honest we are afraid of more things than we put on. We are afraid of losing people in our lives. We are afraid of things that may happen to our family, we are afraid of what may happen to us. All along the devil laughs....
The above Scripture says that there is no fear in love. Primarily of course this is talking about God; for we no longer have to fear the wrath of God due our sin because Jesus Christ has paid the penalty. He has taken the full cup of the wrath of God Almighty upon Himself so that we no longer have to taste this. If we possess authentic faith in Jesus Christ then there is no stored punishment awaiting us - we have only the grace of God, the love of Jesus Christ, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit - both now and in eternity to revel in.
However, this truth ought to impact our every day lives as well. For my friend that compromised his ethics in his job. He needs to trust that God has his best interests in heart; and yes, he may have lost his job - but God would still provide. For those afraid of confrontation - in a godly way we can confront - knowing that both you and the individual we confront will be better off in the long run instead of the lies. We do not need to fear losing people - for we will always have God and His Son Jesus.
Let us not live in fear. May God's love cast it out. Amen.