I’ve fought a battle against the fear of sharing my heart with people, and as I’ve prayed for guidance in this area, I’ve seen that is the result of a lack of faith and my incapability to see the bigger picture.
Every person who I have seen give their all to Christ has had a faith that cancels out fear, but I think a lot of it has to do with love as well.
I’ve seen that when faith and love combine they have the power to cancel out fear.
Tim Keller said in one of his sermons on the subject: “Love without truth is sentimentality; it supports and affirms us but keeps us in denial about our flaws.”
I think a part of the reason it didn’t make sense to me was that I didn’t know what it was, I was taught that it WAS sentimentality.
Starting when you are old enough to comprehend, the world teaches you what love is. Movies, music, and books show us that love is a feeling that has no boundaries and most of the time in this stereotypical love story, many people get hurt because of one person's selfish desire or quest for it.
So I felt like I had to do some studying of the word itself.
Love is technically a noun and a verb, so by definition that makes it a solid thing as well as an action.
Something we feel, and something we do. Something that we feel so deeply, that we have to act upon it.
I Corinthians 13:4-8 is a verse most of us know (love is patient, love is kind). It describes all the different characteristics embodied by love. But, often when we learn this verse, we don’t go all the way to verse 8.
Verse 8 says this:
"Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away."
So what does this mean?
Temporary. These things are temporary. Everything even knowledge and prophecies; things we like to justify as permanent.
Things that we slave away to acquire over time. We like to think the knowledge we store up will be with us forever. But we often skip the one thing that is clearly stated and that is worth it in the end, love. It clearly says that it never fails.
We live in a world where everything fails. If we look at the world, we see nothing permanent and nothing eternal, and that’s because nothing that the world offers us is.
Many times people find themselves wanting something eternal, just something that they don't have to worry about losing.
A lot of times trying to figure out what that was we don't go to the Bible and because of that, we may not find anything. It can drive you crazy trying to find a constant if it's all you're looking for.
The word love is used about 551 times in the Bible, and that’s just the word itself, the concept of it being practiced is used many more.
If you step back and look at the creation of the bible and of us, all you can see is one enormous act of love itself. (Christ being sent, what he did on earth).
Tim Keller said in another one of his sermons on love that “all life-changing love is inconvenient.” When we consider this we should have no doubt what we should do with our lives.
And when we truly believe that loving others while sharing this message is our purpose, the Lord will stand with us, driving out our fear with our faith, as 1 John 4:18 says “perfect love casts out fear.”