“There is no fear in love [dread does not exist], but full-grown (complete perfect) love turns fear out of doors and expels every trace of terror! For fear brings with it the thought of punishment, and he who is afraid has not reached the full maturity of love [is not yet grown into love’s complete perfection].” – 1 John 4:18
I’ve been reflecting on love a lot lately. Some would say love is a feeling. A feeling that brings you higher than the clouds, looking down in admiration of all the beautiful things this life holds. Love can make things look brighter, more radiant, and make you feel like anything is possible. I see love as an action and a choice; choosing to pour into someone in every way possible. Hold them when they’re falling apart, bring them dinner, champion and encourage them, support their dreams and make their dreams your own. Love is acting in prayer. Pray over them… constantly… no matter whatever hurtful thing they just said, love them through prayer.
If I could describe love as a picture I would see a heart gradually growing in size. It’s growing rapidly and expanding to where it’s about to bust. When a heart full of love has reached its physical limits, it pours out. A full heart can’t help but pour out and explode out onto others. That is how I view love: an oozing heart exploding with compassion and service.
Love can also crush you. Loving someone with extreme depth and realizing they are human and don’t always make the right choices for their life can be wounding and devastating. Love combines two souls. When the other soul crumbles, yours does too. When this happens its easy to be afraid of love. You have more control over your own heart and your own actions but zero control over someone else’s. That person has the ability to flip your world upside down in an instant…. and that is terrifying.
Confession time: I haven’t been living a life that is honoring to the Lord this past year. I have held tight to Him in the times I needed comfort and strength and I have spilled out all the contents of my heart to Him, but the world won over my heart more times than I am willing to admit. I’ve completely broken God’s heart with some of the choices I’ve made and when I truly realized that a couple days ago I was brought to my knees weeping uncontrollably. How could God still love me when I have hurt His heart over and over again?
My flesh doesn’t understand a love like that. A love that continues to fight for you no matter how many times you mess up. A love so full and so complete that there is no fear of the hurt that is known to come.. because I’m human and I’m not perfect. God’s love is so complete and faultless that it not only has no fear, but fear flees from the power of His love. It vanishes.
No matter how many times I stray, God’s love is constant. No matter how many times my heart feels like it has been split into a million little pieces and fallen into the pit of my stomach, God’s love is constant.
God has eradicated fear. It’s over, it’s done with. Our grounding is in this truth.
Here’s to loving fearlessly. Here’s to loving in a way that is honoring to The One who made a way for fearlessness.
Make me whole again. Silence every fear.