There is much to be afraid of in this world. Tainted meat, rageful drivers, bad health, relationship failures. Anything that causes us pain is something we can fear. And many of us – myself included at times – travel our days motivated by fear. What can we do to avoid feeling pain? What choices do I make that will make my life easiest and, thus, reduce my potential to be afraid? What can I do to hide my fear?

Yet, we are told that “There is no room in love for fear. Well-formed love banishes fear. Since fear is crippling, a fearful life—fear of death, fear of judgment—is one not yet fully formed in love” (I John 4:18 – The Message). Of course, our love is not always “well-formed” or “perfect,” and I find comfort in this knowledge. Yet, I also take peace from knowing I can work to perfect my love (or allow God to perfect it in me) so that my fear begins to dissipate as I let love be fully formed in me.

Sometimes, the news seems overwhelming with fearful prospects. Sometimes medical tests or relationship trials produce great fear. Sometimes just living out the wounds of our lives is a fearful task, but we are reminded that “God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline” (2 Timothy 1:7 – New Living Translation). We are people called to great things; we are the children of God. “Whom then shall we fear?”

David with the Head of Goliath – “David with the Head of Goliath 3” by Caravaggio