Beach time!

Beach time!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Fear, love, and punishment

I have never felt prompted to start a blog before but God has been impressing on me the stronghold that fear has in my life and so many others, particularly women. I had heard recently that there are 365 forms of "fear nots" in the bible. I decided to find one for every day of the next year. I think it will be easy at first but will become more challenging as the weeks and months move along. My first thought was to do an internet search (I'm fairly sure that someone has compiled some sort of list at some point) but I know the digging in the Word will be to my growth and benefit. I would like to challenge some readers to dig and discover along with me, the hope being that fear will no longer be my default reaction to difficulties in life. I would love to see this become a place of encouragement and hope. I will post verses and a short commentary, thought, or prayer. Please join in and share your thoughts. I'll put the coffee on :)

The first verse I came upon was in 1 John 4:18
"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 am familiar with a similar verse to this but the part about fear and punishment intrigues me. When something difficult happens in life, my default switch is almost always fear. The thought of that being associated with punishment really makes me think. I'm not sure I have a handle on it yet but I think it goes back to my old way of thinking which is this: If I do good things, God will love me more ('bless me' may be a more comfortable "churchy" phrasing) but when I neglect something or mess up, he will love (read:bless) me a little less. It has taken me until just a few years ago to have to forcefully change that way of thinking. I wonder if the two are related? A performance-based relationship with Christ and fear. I always have to remind myself that nothing I do can make God love me more and nothing I do can make God love me less. I think that's all my little head can take in for today. But I will end with this: my desire is to be made perfect in love, isn't yours?

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