“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear…”I John 4:18
This scripture hit home to me the first time I read the quote, “Love like you’ve never been hurt.” What a scary statement!
True and genuine love requires risk and vulnerability. Genuine love requires an investment of our very selves. The risk is great you will be hurt at some point; thus, our tendency is to protect ourselves and withdraw from the risk.
The perfect love and no fear thing have always been a tough one for me. But I have seen God move me and work in my heart in ways which surprise me. He has moved me from the person people knew as “the ice princess” (Yes, I was called that by a few friends in college) to someone who is learning to genuinely love people. Emphasis on the LEARNING because every day is a journey and I am still learning. Perhaps I will still be learning until I take my very last breath on this earth.
There are many times I still want to climb behind my wall of protection I built with my own hands. There are even more times I second guess myself and feel as though I have revealed too much of who I am. But Jesus stands right there beside me whispering to my heart.
I can see him there, amazing love in His eyes imploring me to be brave, to come away with Him, and then to move out from the safety of the wall.
This quote from Kris Vallotton inspires me: “Fear will not tell me what to do, it will not keep me from my destiny, it will not take away my history, and I will not let it dictate my life’s goals.”
Oftentimes I am even more amazed when I feel that love from others. It is amazing and humbling when I realize people really love me, because many times when we struggle with loving others it is because we struggle with loving ourselves. Therein lies the fear.
What I have come to realize is I don’t necessarily want to “love like I’ve never been hurt”. I want to love through the hurt, despite the hurt. I want to love like someone who has been hurt and chooses to love anyway. The way Jesus loves!
Jesus was (and still often is) “despised and rejected…acquainted with deepest grief.” Isaiah 53:3 We have often turned our backs on him and looked the other way. But He carried our weaknesses and sorrows. He was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be made whole. He was whipped so we could be healed. In return we’ve left God’s paths to follow our own. He’s been oppressed and treated harshly, but He never said a word. And so, He was struck down because of our rebellion even though He had done no wrong. (Isaiah 53 NLT)
If I may be so bold-None of us has suffered the losses, hurt, and pain Jesus has. Yet, even in all this He is victorious. Because of His experience many have been set free, changed, and saved. Jesus looks to His pain and calls for forgiveness. He chooses love over fear. He chooses connection over disconnection. Even when we pull away, He continues to draw us to Himself.
He is our example. So today, choose. Choose to Step out of fear and into Love.
Reflection and Activation:
- What are some of the bricks/stones you have used to build your wall?
- Write them down and then ask the Great Stone who is love Himself to become the foundation which allows you to begin the process of dismantling the fear that keeps you from perfect love.
Jesus is reaching down and lifting each stone, removing it and tossing it aside. This is a process, so trust the process. God isn’t typically a bulldozer or a wrecking ball. He is gentle and kind and He loves you like despite the hurt. He loves you through the hurt. His love is a perfect love. He loves us beyond the fear.