Saturday, January 10, 2009

It Would Be Good For Me . . .

A couple posts ago I listed my Impossible Dreams for 2009. Such lovely habits! Such ideal accomplishments! How good it would be to incorporate them all into my life-- if only I were a wholly different sort of person born in a whole different universe.

But now, if I am to make one serious resolution for 2009, I see it would be good for me to resolve to stand against cowardice and fear and instead think and act in courage and fortitude.

Never mind all the specific things I do or refrain from doing out of fear. I'm sure if you examine your own heart you'll discover many of them for yourself, in yourself. But God helping, I resolve to stand against . . .

. . . the fear of disappointment.

. . . the fear of not being liked by other people.

. . . the fear of bothering other people.

. . . the fear of having to take the time and trouble to do something properly.

. . . the fear of not performing up to other people's expectations.

. . . the even greater fear of not performing up to my own expectations.

. . . the fear of making a choice in a given situation because it automatically eliminates my freedom to choose.

. . . the fear of loss of freedom.

. . . the fear of loss of autonomy.

. . . and all those other crabby, craven cowardices that seize me in the gut and whine, "I doan wanna. I'm not gonna. It scares me. Leave me alone!"

So what can I put up against this? How can I take heart and strength in the new year?

By means of perfect love.

John the Apostle in his first letter writes, "There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love."

Whose perfect love is this? Mine? Don't be ridiculous. I can't love perfectly, any more than I can be perfectly brave, courageous, and bold.

No, John is referring to the perfect love of God. He says, "We love, because he first loved us." That perfect love is shown in Jesus Christ the Son of God as he willingly died to turn away the condemnation that I and every human being deserved for our rebellion against God. So since God loved me so much as to do that for me, and since there is now no condemnation for someone like me who belongs to Christ Jesus, what do I have on earth to be afraid of? Really, ultimately, God himself is the only one we really need to fear, and in Christ, he's taken that fear of punishment totally away!

This doesn't mean that when fear marks my first reaction to being asked to do something, I'll automatically tackle it or pick it up and run with it to prove how courageous and God-trusting I am. Maybe the best response in a given situation might be for me to decide that whatever it is isn't worth doing! But let me make that decision clearly and honorably out of logic and love, not as a by-product of my endocrine system! To conduct myself like that would be very good for me . . . and, most likely, very good for others as well.

1 comment:

whiskers said...

I really needed to hear that. Thank you.