I thought I would share it with you.
Loving Out The Fear
by Jon Walker
All of you should be of one mind, full of sympathy toward each other, loving one another with tender hearts and humble minds. (1 Peter 3:8 NLT)
God enables us to love the fear out of one another.
We drive fear from our families and friends by loving one another so supportively that every one feels safe inside the group (1 John 4:18). This safety allows us to bring our humanity into the open, including all our pain and joy, our ups and downs, our victories and defeats.
It means you give to others the same uncommon safety Christ gives you – to be real, to be sad, to be messed up and confused, yet to be loved.
God challenges us to create a Christ-community where we love like our lives depend upon it (1 Peter 1:22) and where we can each “live and move and have our being.” (Acts 17:28)
We’re to weep as one and celebrate as one, caring for each other equally (1 Corinthians 12:25-26) as we comfort and confront, warm and warn, cherish and challenge within an atmosphere of supportive safety.
Loving the fear out of each other requires that we develop:
Tender hearts – We give support to each other because God gives us support, and we’re to encourage others with the encouragement we receive from him. (2 Corinthians 1:4)
In the New Testament, the word ‘support’ can literally mean “to increase one another’s potential.” (Romans 14:19 NJB) We strengthen one another by extending love, instead of fostering fear, and we do that by offering relationships that are safe and sympathetic.
Humble minds –True humility focuses on the worth of others. We understand our value in Christ, and we understand that God shapes each of us for a unique purpose.
Godly eyes – Loving the fear out of our family and friends – in fact, loving the fear out of the world – means we see others for what they can be, not for what they appear to be now. Jesus called Peter a rock when the fisherman was still acting on impulse (Matt. 16:18), and God called Gideon a mighty man of courage when he was hiding from the enemy among piles of grain. (Judges 6:11-12) God calls us to encourage and affirm each other (1 Thessalonians 5:11), seeing those around us in terms of their purpose and mission in life.
God enables us to love the fear out of one another. You can love the fear out of others, and you can allow the fear to be loved out of you.
We exhibit tender hearts when we say to one another:
It’s OK to have a bad day.·
It’s OK to be tired.·
It’s OK to admit your mistakes.·
It’s OK to say your marriage is failing.·
It’s OK to confess your addiction.· It’s OK to share you’re scared.·
It’s OK to want a day away from your toddler.·
It’s OK to grieve this loss.·
It’s OK to doubt, to be confused, to cry.
We exhibit humble minds when we say to one another:
It’s OK to be happy you got a new car.
It’s OK to celebrate that you got a huge raise.
It’s OK to joyfully tell us you lost 17 pounds.
It’s OK to say you won the sales competition.
It’s OK to shout “Hallelujah!” because God’s presence in your life is so good.
It’s OK to tell us these things because we will be as happy for you as if these blessings had come to us, and we will join you in hearty celebration.
© 2007 Jon Walker. All rights reserved.
Jon Walker is a pastor-advocate living in Southern California and the former pastor of communications at Saddleback Church.
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© 2007 Purpose Driven Life. All rights reserved.
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