If we are more self-conscious than ever, with the ones we “love”, that is not love… but fear. Our ‘love’ is unmasked as a battle in manipulation and power – one person using another to make them feel good, even in a pecking order, or to simply chase away loneliness. True love is… safe,… forgiving… and unrestricted. (And I’m not jumping all the way to romantic love. Apply this to friendship too.) Perfect love is fearless. If you are afraid of someone, you don’t truly love them. And perhaps not yet anyway. It may be because of a wall you have put up, or it may be they are not truly safe to give your love to. It may be you have some questions not yet answered. So ask yourself why you fear them. The answer will help you determine the next step you will need to take. Step forward in trust or step back in self-preservation and boundaries. But, always… pray through it. Putting up walls doesn’t bring peace. Putting up walls brings about war and hostility. Jesus challenges us to break through and face our fellow person without fear and to enter with Him in the fellowship of the weak, knowing that it will not bring destruction but new life and a new world.
(My thoughts after reading Henri Nouwen.)
Matthew 22:36-40 (NIRV)
36 “Teacher,” he asked, “which is the most important commandment in the Law?”
37 Jesus replied, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul. Love him with all your mind.’ (Deuteronomy 6:5) 38 This is the first and most important commandment. 39 And the second is like it. ‘Love your neighbor as you love yourself.’ (Leviticus 19:18)