Are You Afraid to Love?

Perfect Love Casts Out Fear
By Doris Tegge
On May 22, 2017, a terrorist exploded a shrapnel bomb in a crowded venue in Manchester England just as the concert goers were getting ready to leave. 22 innocent persons were killed, including many under 16 years of age. Many in the area rushed to the site, instead of running away, to help the victims by providing medical aid, shelter or transportation. Some accounts attribute this bravery to a show of solidarity, but I would also say it was love. Love for fellow humans, although strangers, pushed aside the fear that they might also get hurt.
A few weeks later, Arianna Grande returned to the scene of the attach to give a benefit concert that was attended by 50,000 people. Concern for the injured and families of the victims pushed away the fear for personal safety.
As Christians, we are commanded to love. However, in many ways fear can keep us from loving as Christ commanded. We fear what is different from us. We fear what we do not understand. We fear that we may be taken advantage of. We fear that we may be hurt, either emotionally or physically. The writer of 1 John reminds us that it is perfect love that casts out fear. This is the love that comes from God through us by the power of the Holy Spirit. We can love perfectly because God loved us first.
Let us remember this and love fearlessly.
1 John 4:18-21
. 18 There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear; for fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not reached perfection in love. 19 We love because he first loved us. 20 Those who say, “I love God,” and hate their brothers or sisters, are liars; for those who do not love a brother or sister whom they have seen, cannot love God whom they have not seen. 21 The commandment we have from him is this: those who love God must love their brothers and sisters also.

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