We were born for love, yet we often shrink back in fear.
We are afraid.
Afraid of what? Rejection, disregard, intimacy, judgment, or just being known as someone who needs to be loved (as though that’s strange). Perhaps we are fearful of being used or abused (again), fearful of the discomfort that can come when someone else really needs our love, fearful of being discovered for who we really are.
Fear cripples love.
But, as the Scripture tell us, perfect love casts out fear. Isn’t that interesting? The anti-dote to fear, which will keep us from truly loving others, is perfect love itself. God’s love, being poured into our lives, enables us to reject fear and love others.
The fear that keeps us from loving others is overcome not by muscling past our fears of others and the ways we might get hurt (because we will still get hurt when we love); fear is overcome by turning towards the perfect love of the Father, and letting his love for us expel all the fear in us. The more loved we know we are by the Father, the less fearful we become in our relationships with others. We know that, no matter what happens, we are loved–no human being can alter that. And though hurt and rejection and pain is still real and difficult, it no longer determines our ability to love others–that is given to us by the Father himself, determined by his love for us.
How can we reject fear and love others? By letting God love us, soaking in the truth of his immeasurable, eternal, faithful heart, the heart in which we find our true home. Living from that place of beauty and belonging, we can love, love, love–and love some more.
Goodbye, fear. Hello, love.