by: Carole L. Haines
Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love.
(1 John 4:7-8)
Fear is one of the greatest barriers to love. We cannot truly love others if we are full of fear. Fear demands that we be in control. Love requires surrender and trust. I love what God’s Word tells us above. Love is from God, our ability to love others is directly linked to God. “The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love.” We do not just seek to journey out of fear for our freedom only, but to become better at loving others. And to become better at loving God in return for His love toward us.
There is another component as well, that of loving oneself. We have sometimes been led to believe that loving oneself is the epitome of selfishness. But God speaks differently on this. Why would Jesus call us to love our neighbor as ourself if we were not to take the love of self seriously. Let me go deeper with this thought.
I was so full of self-hatred and disgust with myself at one time. I was ashamed of my mental and emotional weakness, having been diagnosed with Social Anxiety disorder in my late twenties. But God revealed to me that this thorn in my flesh, this weakness, would help me to remain reliant upon Him, for His power is perfected in weakness.
“And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore, I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.
(2 Corinthians 12:9-10)
My weakness led me to choose self-protection, due to fear of being found out, fear of rejection from other people. We can see in the above Scripture from 1 John that everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. Knowing God is the key to both freedom from fear and the freedom to love others. They’re intricately connected. We will learn of this more tomorrow. Be Blessed, Dear Believer.