Friday, July 19, 2013
Perfect love casts out fear!
Should I fear offending you with my New Orleans rear end shot? So many folks tell them they hated New Orleans when they went there. I enjoy it for its differentness, its culture markers, its neediness, its jazzy freedom.
John has declared that God is love, he has explained that love that is mature will love others, and here he tells us that God's love in us is perfecting and maturing when we are not afraid.
Of death, of the future, of our enemy, of the unkind words of others, of aging, of losing control. How long could the list be.
As a young Christian, I had an experience from the Holy Spirit, and my peer group theologically did not believe such an experience was legitamate. One brother in particular chose to criticize me, ostracize me, belittle me, and just downright cut me down whenever I was in his presence. I have not seen this brother in 30 years but knowing what he is doing in his career I have no doubt that if we met in a hallway, he would resume his treatment of me.
For a long time I feared such ostracization. One of the saddest things about our culture is how narrowly we define our friends and world by those who see, believe, and experience things in just the way we do. We fear those with wider experience and so we dismiss and criticize. I have done my good share of such antics.
Of late, expecially after shifting my perceptions of who God is, and what the gospel is, I just want to accept where people are in there own journey, without trying to remake and mold them into my perceptions of life and truth.
Likewise, if my point of view becomes a minority report, like conservatism seems to be these days, I do not want to have every waking thought consumed with the fear of what will happen if they win, whoever they are.
It seems to be that is what the essense of walking in love is, that that fearlessness of the present and the future are very powerful realities of a mature journey.