Fear is powerful. I see this in the birth narrative of Jesus. As most people know, Herod was the king when Jesus was born. When he hears of the new king’s birth, he is troubled (NASB) and begins to plan to remove the threat. When he realizes that the Magi are not going to help him get the new king, his solution is to kill all of the babies born in that region.
Matthew 2:16 describes this situation as following: “Then when Herod saw that he had been tricked by the magi, he became very enraged, and sent and slew all the male children who were in Bethlehem and all its vicinity, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had determined from the magi.”
I would like to say that I never allow my fears to cause me to make bad decisions, but the more aware of myself I become the more I realize it happens more than I would like to admit. Often fear is how I make my decisions. I often don’t help the people on the side of the road, because they might be waiting hurt me. I often drive past the people begging for help, because I fear that they might not use my resources well. I often don’t pick of the phone to call a person that I don’t know well, because they might not want to talk to me at this moment.
Fear is powerful, but it is not the most powerful. Love is, because God is love.
Love says, “Take time and resources for others.” Love says, “Care more about the person than what the person might think of you. Love says, “Don’t be like Herod.” But I think Scripture says it better is 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (NASB):
“Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, 5 does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, 6 does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; 7bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
I thought the opposite of love was hate. I now believe the opposite of love is fear. The confusion comes because most of the time, hate is rooted in the fear of the unknown and different. If we can learn to love, even love what is different, hate and fear disappear. We cannot love without God. God is love.
What cause you fear? Ask God how more love might cause that fear to disappear?