There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.
– 1 John 4:18
Fire and brimstone – scorching language used as fear mongering tools for so long by preachers to instill fear into people’s hearts, driving them toward a religion twisted by guilt. Today, we’ve mostly left the hotbed of angry, condemning religion, but for many fear and guilt remain, whether as whispers of smoke in our souls, burned there from a dispirited youth in the church, or soldered into our hearts through experiences that have left us burned.
But what if true religion isn’t about shame and fright? What if it speaks something quite the opposite to us – that we are free from all that which weighs us down?
The world can be frightening. Depression, loneliness, judgment, violence – all these can invade our lives and make the very act of living difficult, impossible even. But in this, there is always hope, in the arms of one who has been there and suffered it all for our sake, and in whose perfect love there is no fear.
Pray | Come to God about those things that haunt you – the specters of abuse, neglect or anything else – and ask him to help you depend on his love in overcoming the pain
Act | Accept your flaws and imperfections, making a step toward accepting forgiveness and mercy from a loving God