When you first read “Fear & Love” together, it doesn’t make sense. They don’t belong together. If you’re fearful of something, then you probably don’t love it so much, right? Well, fear can cause us to do a lot of things that love may not cause us to do. The fear of us not having a roof over our family’s head can cause us to work a little harder at work. The fear of missing out on our children’s extracurricular activities will cause us to drive like a maniac on HWY 95 just to make the 4th Quarter of Lil’ Jimmy’s pee wee football game. The fear of our kids throwing toys at other kids in the nursery will make us want to teach them not to do that. (Was that my kid last Sunday? Yes…. Sorry, Mandie Bloy our Kids Pastor) We all have fears. Some are irrational and uncontrollable (like your kid throwing toys at others in the nursery), then some are completely rational and you should act on them. The point is that fear makes us act with a sense of urgency. However, when we begin to live a life of fear instead of love we have a problem. Jon Gordon’s book “The Carpenter” opened my eyes to this in a brand new way and I pray it would do the same for you today.
“Fill your life up with love not fear. When you live your life with love, it can’t help but grow. When you love the work you do, you will do great work. You were created with love, you are loved, and you were meant to share this love in all that you do. Do everything with love! Greatness is built with love.”
We have all lived our lives full of fear and probably still all do today in some capacity. When we were younger, we would have a deathly fear of mom and dad leaving us for one second and not ever coming back. When we got to the age of six, we began the fear of being away from mom and dad for too long at school. When we got into our teenage years, we began to fear that our parents would embarrass us in front of our friends. By the way, if you ever embarrassed your kid as a teenager I want to know about it! Then, we move into our adult years and the fears get a little heavier. The fear of starving, the fear of supporting a family, the fear of gaining too much weight, the fear of death. Fear drives us.
1 John 4:18 tells us, “God is love. When we take up permanent residence in a life of love, we live in God and God lives in us. This way, love has the run of the house, becomes at home and mature in us, so that we’re free of worry on Judgment Day—our standing in the world is identical with Christ’s. There is no room in love for fear. Well-formed love banishes fear. Since fear is crippling, a fearful life—fear of death, fear of judgment—is one not yet fully formed in love.”
God wants you to love life, not fear it. He wants you to do your job full of joy and love because after all you will be happier that way! I bet your coworkers will even notice it as well. Fear brings stress, and love brings joy! Choose love.
I want to challenge you as you enter into this upcoming week, write down “Choose Love” on some sticky notes around your house. When the kids get crazy or life throws you a curveball, look at them and choose love. This is something my wife and I both have been encouraging one another to do and it has changed our entire outlook on life. When you live it full of joy and love, it is amazing what can happen!