Posts Tagged ‘fear’

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. 1 John 4:18

What do you fear? You’ve heard the axiom that F.E.A.R is False Evidence Appearing Real. Fear is that emotion that can cause issues we face to seem bigger than life and can and has caused us to freeze, fight or flight. Yet today think on 1 John 4:18, “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.” Phil Jackson from Red Letter Christians

Advertisements

Fear

Posted: March 31, 2016 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

How sweet the name of Jesus sounds
In a believer’s ear!
It soothes his sorrows, heals his wounds,
And drives away his fear.  – John Newton, Olney Hymns

Peace, trust and love are the effect of Jesus not fear, anger and hate.

Freedom is scary; in fact it’s so frightening most of us choose to remain imprisoned. Rather than join God in the moment and trust Him with our future we cling to what’s familiar and what we believe we control even when it’s painful and unhealthy.  Freedom is more than available, it’s God’s desire and we are presented with the opportunity to choose it constantly. So instead of entertaining the same old thoughts, living according to other’s opinions and staying in our well worn rut; take a chance! Follow your heart, live and love in the now!

“You are the salt of the earth…”

This statement from Jesus is intended to give us direction, to help us understand our role in this world since “that which is perfect has come”. Few will disagree with what was just said. However we do see dramatically conflicting interpretations of how this lives out.

These opposing views begin when we determined which of salt’s two primary functions we’re going to emulate or follow. Are we going to apply salt to enhance the flavor or to act as a preservative? Most of us are taught to be the preservative spending much of our lives fighting to maintain things we can’t even be sure of, unaware that what we are stubbornly trying to preserve is the very thing Jesus came to transform.

Here’s the opening quote with the dots filled in, “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men.” And another, “Salt is good, but if the salt loses its flavor, how will you season it? Have salt in yourselves, and have peace with one another.”

It’s quite clear that flavor is the attribute Jesus is suggesting for our “Salt”. And I’m certain that the essence or seasoning we are to provide is love.

“Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing. Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away.”

That which is perfect is love; that which is perfect is Jesus. We need not operate out of fear or tradition. Love never fails!

1 Thessalonians 4:9-12

But concerning brotherly love you have no need that I should write to you, for you yourselves are taught by God to love one another; and indeed you do so toward all the brethren who are in all Macedonia. But we urge you, brethren, that you increase more and more; that you also aspire to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you, that you may walk properly toward those who are outside,…

This portion of scripture has so much to consider. It came to mind after reading this post by John Pavlovitz. He has some great thoughts concerning faith, trust and doubt which I wholeheartedly agree we all struggle with. The question that led me to this scripture “Is doubt inevitable and unavoidable?” gets answered, “Yes.” But another query is, “Does it always have to be like this or is it possible to decrease doubt and increase trust or faith?” I think there is much reason for hope here. Scripture supports growing trust, history is filled with examples and chances are you can look back on your life and name any number of areas where trust has replaced doubt.

We can and should encourage each other with this hope but never from a position of superiority. We can’t forget our times of question and doubt or think for a moment that we won’t be faced with more. We are all completely unique and in personal relationships with God whether we know it or not. Diminishing others because their faith doesn’t measure up is as wrong as wrong can be.

It seems to me the more our trust increases; the less important it is for us to be right, the more compassion and understanding we have for everyone, the less afraid we are of questions and the more equipped we are to share God’s love without strings or hoops.

Other thoughts on this passage: It begins and ends with love, always has, always will. Taught by God, we should never abdicate our personal relationship with God to anyone especially those that claim spiritual authority, apostleship, anointedness or asks you to be accountable to them. Increase more and more, there is always more of Him, we will never exhaust Him, there is and will always be more of Him to be understood and known. Lead a quiet life, mind your own business, and work with your own hands , For me these bring about many questions about what we see in so much of modern “Christianity”. Walk properly toward those who are outside, oh my.

The following had much to say to me today. I hope the same for you. It’s from an article by Paul Ford:

“I am often consumed with a sense of overwhelming love and empathy. I look at the other person and am overwhelmed with joy.

This is not a world where you can simply express love for other people, where you can praise them. Perhaps it should be. But it’s not. I’ve found that people will fear your enthusiasm and warmth, and wait to hear the price. Which is fair, we’ve all been drawn into someone’s love only to find out that we couldn’t afford it.”

Love doesn’t manipulate.

Religion has deep roots in fear, primarily the fear that we are unloved and that we need to do something about it. This is a lie religion is extremely adept at exploiting, do this and God will love you and then so will we; Oh, you should do this too and then this while thinking this. It reminds me of the scene in The Jerk when Navin is leaving and doesn’t need anything, but…

We all need love as much as we need air and water. It’s a God given necessity put in us so we will seek Him; He’s the only one that can fill our hearts. Religion takes advantage of this need by promising to fulfill it if we will conform to the process established by whatever system we find ourselves in. This can’t work, it may for a season but eventually we come to the realization that there must be more and that’s when too often the answer we’re given is we need more religion. Then on the carousel we go, what option do we have? If we jump off, it is certain we won’t be loved, we’ve seen it. The fear of rejection keeps us right where religion wants us.

We’ll do anything for love, it’s sad that includes settling for a counterfeit of the amazing unique love Jesus came to show us.

Please keep in mind that I am merely offering an opinion here, one intended to spur you to thought. This is the case with everything you read at The Better Thing.

Religion is man’s contrived, organized attempt to make himself right with God. We should know better as Jesus taught extensively against this, yet still… One of the things that go hand in hand with this attempt by man to control God is for man to control others. While this in no way further endears us, somehow we think the more people we can get to buy into our system the more pleased we’ll make Him.

Religion’s greatest power is found in the fear of rejection.