Fear Vs. Love
"There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love."1
As we noted in Monday's Daily Encounter some unresolved fears from the past can cripple us and hinder or even block us from becoming and doing all that God envisioned for us to be and do. While it is true that perfect love casts out fear, unresolved fear can block out love.
For example, in today's world untold numbers of people are being terrified through abuse of one sort or another. Think of the terror of those living in war-torn places where parents are killed, children are left homeless, women are raped, and homes are destroyed. Think, too, of the children who are abused—physically, emotionally, and/or sexually in every society. Unless these fears and terrors are confronted, dealt with and resolved, a person can be greatly limited or even left emotionally handicapped in adult life by these hidden tormentors.
To be made perfect in love, it is imperative that these hidden tormentors be confronted and resolved. I wish I had a simple, easy answer for resolving these fears but I don't. I can only talk realistically from my own experience. Because of a terrifying experience in early childhood I was left with a buried terror which caused me to unconsciously run from love much of my life.
At the risk of being repetitious, here's how I overcame my deep seated fear. In my loneliness and despair I literally begged God to confront me with the truth and reality of what I was contributing to the situation I was in. Almost immediately I saw how codependent I was which had caused me to mistake need for love. I then came to the realization that I had been running from close relationships all of my life for fear of being hurt again. Once I saw and admitted my problem, I was able to realistically ask God to lead me to the help I needed to overcome my problem. The answer didn't come easily but I was determined with God's help and to do what I needed to do (get in-depth therapy) to overcome my fear—otherwise I knew I would be running from love for the rest of my life.
What others do to hurt us is their issue. How we react is our issue, and our responsibility to overcome it. So the first step in overcoming our fears is learning to pray the right prayer; for it is only when we admit and own our problems that we are in a position and open to receive help from God or anybody else.
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please help me to see any fear in my life that is blocking out love. Give me the courage to confront it and lead me to the help I need to overcome it so I can be made perfect or complete in love. Thank You for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus's name, amen."
Note: For further help read, “How to Pray Effectively” at: http://tinyurl.com/kb62w
1 John 4:18 (NKJV).