“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love” – I John 4:18 (NIV).
Whenever a child does something wrong and is fearful of discovery, he will attempt to hide to avoid what might happen if caught. However, if a child is assured of love, then there is no need to hide. This is because if the parent discovers the fault he will not kill the child, so to speak. Of course the child might be reprimanded and cautioned, perhaps even given a deserving punishment to deter, but nothing like driving him out of the house!
When a house is filled with love it does not mean that everything runs according to course. The children may go out of their way at particular times. But with love there is knowledge that even where things go astray the arms of a loving parent would embrace all, no matter what.
Sometimes our relationships are governed with fear instead of love. We do certain things for certain people because we are afraid how they might react if we happen to relapse. We attend school and read books because we fear the consequences when we falter. We call a certain Aunt because we fear she will complain if we stop calling.
The danger with this attitude is that once the perceived fear goes away, like nothing can happen to us anymore after we fault, then we slide back to our old ways. It was a chore and there was no feeling of love in it.
God wants us to build relationships based not on fear but love. This is because His relationship with us is also built on love. Where there is love there is always room for repentance. As it is written, “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins” (I Peter 4:8). Love brings conviction for where one expected the worst he is not repulsed but affirmed. May we relate with each with love and not by imposing fear!
Prayer for today: Lord Father God of Abraham, maker of heaven and earth, in place of fear teach us how to love one another and demonstrate that love through action and deeds, this I pray in Jesus’s name.