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Love or Fear?

by on November 1, 2013



There is no fear in love; but

Perfect love casts out fear,

Because fear involves torment.

But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.

We love Him because He first loved us.


1. This passage is about our relationship with God.

  • He loves us.
  • That love casts out any fear that we have.
  • Fear and love cannot coexist.
  • God’s perfect love removes fear.


God knows that fear causes torment.

  • He does not want us to be tormented.
  • He does not want us to fear Him.
  • He wants us to trust Him and
  • He wants us to be made perfect (complete) in His love.

Christ committed Himself to us. He draws us to Himself by His love for us. He allows us to make the choice to follow Him or not. He does not force us to decide for Him.


2. The passage also applies to our relationships with other people.

  • Relationships should be based on love.
  • If relationships are based on love, they will be healthy.
  • They will not cause fear.
  • They will not be judgmental.
  • Love makes us perfect (complete).
  • We become whole people because we are loved unconditionally.


3. Controlling/manipulating relationships, on the other hand,

  • Are not based on love.
  • Are based on fear.
  • If you do not comply with the controller, he/she will make you pay.
  • They will use fear to force you to do what they want you to do.
  • Fear works because of the torment of possible judgmental actions against you.

Manipulators have never grown-up. They are still immature – not perfect or complete. They will control you if you allow it. Controllers typically grew up in unhealthy conditions. They learned to manipulate their parents and teachers and other people. They became masters of control but, there is no love in their actions.

  • Sadly, these people do not know love.
  • They cannot experience love.
  • Their life is about control.
  • Control destroys love.
  • They cannot know love.
  • They cannot experience love.
  • They cannot offer love.
  • They can only offer control.
  • By fear.
  • With torment.
  • That is the only way they know how to live.
  • That is not God’s way.

Many people who are being controlled do not realize that they are being controlled. Control has become so “normal” that control seems normal.

  • It is not normal.
  • It is wrong.
  • It is sin.
  • Control can feel good.
  • It can feel safe.
  • It can provide protection.
  • But, unfortunately, it is all false.

Godly people will not manipulate you. If you are being manipulated, the manipulator is not a Godly person. Observe carefully so as not to be controlled.

In a real, loving relationship, you are cared for. You are safe. You are protected. You do not fear. In those healthy kinds of relationships you can respond in love – real love. You do not fear but you grow to maturity. You become a real person who lives and loves and lives in love. You grow to be more the person God wants you to be. You mature in your Christian life. You become a person who can reach out in love to those hurting persons around you.


We revel in the perfect love of God.

We rejoice in the imperfect love of each other.

We offer our imperfect love to each other as the

Love of God that flows through us.

  • Love protects others
  • Love produces joy
  • Love rejects wrong
  • Love cares for truth
  • Love creates holy boldness
  • Love creates maturity
  • Love brings healing
  • Love with truth brings healing


Love has been perfected among us in this:

That we may have boldness in the day of judgment;

Because as He is, so are we in this world.


If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother,

He is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen,

How can he love God whom he has not seen?


And this commandment we have from Him:

That he who loves God must love his brother also.

1 John 4:15-21


(Note: There is a holy fear of God. That is a different subject from the one above.)


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