I said earlier in the month that our difficulties were as diverse as our personalities. Our fears are diverse as well. I don’t write or talk about this often because I’m ashamed of it, but I have a real phobia of dogs. Intellectually I know not all dogs are the same, and that it’s unlikely I would be bitten by a dog in a public place, but I still tense up if I’m with somebody and a person with a dog walks past us.
1 John 4:18 says perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment, and that the one who fears is not made perfect in love. Really, this is logical. If I had the same love for dogs as I do for people, I wouldn’t distrust them. Perhaps you’ve known someone for a while, and there’s something about yourself you’re afraid to admit to them. If you could be sure they loved you perfectly, that fear wouldn’t be there. Fear of the future is considerably less for me because I know my God loves me and delights in my wellbeing.
Maybe you’re telling yourself that as humans, we can’t show that perfect love to each other, but Jesus commands His followers: “Love each other as I have loved you.” With His Spirit living in us, we have the power to show extraordinary love.
Let’s be people whose love calms the fears of others.