The Heart of the Matter

Thinking of those who struggle with more acute pain on days that are a happy celebration for most others.

“God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them . . . Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear” (1 John 4:16b & 18a).

Have you ever wondered why John wrote that love drives out fear, rather than hate? I believe it’s because fear is the root of hate. The fears of loss, rejection, failure, punishment, pain, and loneliness can all manifest in despising your life and resenting others’.

When we’re young, most of us find that love energizes us emotionally and excites us physically in nearly equal measures. But the more we experience life, the more we understand love is a spiritual choice, one we make every day regardless of how it makes us feel. It’s not always romantic, or happy, or reciprocated. But it is always good, peaceful, and life-giving. Because God is love itself. All his thoughts toward you are motivated by love of you, and wanting you to grow in that love.

No matter how days like this have made you feel in the past, that’s how you get to celebrate today and every day. You get to grow to be more healed, more whole, and more who God has created you to be. You get to let go of the life-sucking lies that fear has been screaming at you, and embrace the increasing revelations of love Jesus is inviting you to.

When you can get a moment alone with him, take a deep breath or two or ten, and give him permission to keep growing your ability to love and be loved. Ask him to help you see everyone and everything through his love that you couldn’t see through your fear. Especially yourself.

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