There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear … 1 John 4:18a
I came across this clever, painted rock tucked under a tree on a walk in my neighborhood. The main message says: “Love means facing your biggest fears.” We have a lot of fear to cast out with love these days. Fear is the root of most of the negative behaviors and issues we face in this world. Fear causes people to act in very unloving ways and closes us off from each other. We see this played out in the public square, the church, and the world especially with the unjust war in Ukraine.
Jesus spends a lot of time talking about love and says “do not be afraid” more than just about anything else. He tells stories like the Parable of the Prodigal Son in Luke 15 to show the kind of extravagant love God has for us and wants us to share with each other in spite of our fears. One thing that people fear is change. Thus the old adage, “Change or die.” God calls for growth in our lives, and in order to grow, we must change.
Whether it’s change at home, at work, at church, or in the world, God’s word tells us, “Do not fear.” Jesus shares perfect love with us to cast out our fears. What are you afraid of? How does that motivate your actions? Let us reflect on Jesus’ perfect love that casts out our fears and prepares us to treat each other with extravagant love.