Fear or Love? - Guidelines Devotional

Fear or Love?

Encouraging Words
May 4, 2020
Speaker:

Notice this Bible verse: “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear” (1 John 4:18). I don’t know why, but that verse has always been hard for me to grasp.  “Perfect love casts out fear”? What is the writer saying? And how does it fit into my life?

Then I read an explanation that helped. Artist Hyatt Moore told about a friend who came to him for help because she had an engagement coming up where she would be painting in front of an audience while the speaker lectured. The closer the time came to the meeting, the more fear gripped her.  What if she couldn’t paint well enough to please the audience?

Hyatt pointed out to her that “Whether speaking or painting or anything else in public, if we’re preoccupied with how we’ll be judged, all our thoughts are about ourselves. They’re inward oriented, that is, “fear!” Love, on the other hand, is just the opposite: It’s oriented outward.”

Hyatt went on to say, “So, if we …consider that, in fact, we do have something to give, something useful which will help others…, our thoughts are outward, not inward. We’re no longer thinking about ourselves but them.” Fear will leave.[1]

I can totally relate to that because when I’m speaking in public, and I focus on how well—or not well I’m speaking, fear begins to paralyze me. But when I concentrate on the people in the audience and how much I want to get the message across to help them, then--to use the Bible words--love casts out fear.

What a waste of time and energy when we focus on how we’re doing a task instead of focusing on those we’re helping.  Let love be the motivation for all we do, and fear will disappear!

[1] Hyatt Moore, “Fear and Love.” http://www.hyattmoore.com/blank-slate/2016/09/28/fear-and-love/

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