1 John 4:18
There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.
Remember when you first starting playing golf? We all had an awkward fear of totally missing the ball and someone seeing our swing in public. We hadn’t yet grown a love for the game because the presence of a fear of failing was continually present. This fear was real because the failing was real for many more swings and rounds. The golf swing is not a natural motion, but as we gained an understanding and confidence, we attained an amount of comfort to go public. The small victories over the course of time allowed us to sprout a love for that feeling of a well-struck ball traveling upon its intended path. Further, we began to appreciate the relationships that were fostered by and through the participation in this activity with our friends. Often times, it is more about the relationship and the camaraderie than the score.
Our world is full of fear and therefore is missing love on many levels. We cannot totally love because we fear for our marital future, for our job security, or for our physical well-being. As soon as our feet hit the ground each morning, we find a new reason to fear. It doesn’t have to be this way. Because of His presence and our relationship with God, we have no reason to fear in judgment. What an assurance with have through this perfect love! No matter what happens, God’s love is great enough to overcome our worry and apprehension.
But what about the need for us to fear the Lord mentioned in Ecclesiastes 12:13 and 1 Peter 2:17? The “fear” referred to in these scriptures was for us to always have an appropriate reverence toward God. Our “perfected love” through salvation gives us joy and confidence, not a tormenting fear toward our sovereign God.
Further, the love that God desires us to have for our spouse, neighbor, coworker, and even enemy is one without any fear. This Godly love is perfect because of the absence of fear. Worldly love is not genuine because it fails and is often not returned. Our fear is that our same feeling of love will not be reciprocated. However, our love of God causes us to have love for the people around us. In verse 21, we are told that, “And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.” Just like the golf swing, this love is not natural. It is only possible through a relationship with Christ who
allowed us to realize God first loved us. We will fail many times in the course of our life. Our love for Christ though is about a relationship. This closeness generates a desire to confess this love publicly. This adoration is the love that conquers any fear of failure. Let us testify of this love today!