“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7
Years after my grandfather died the medals he earned in the military were given to each of us grandchildren. This was very special and something I treasure. Having something of value matters when someone is no longer on earth. A tangible object is a wonderful reminder of an impactful person. My medal has a rather unique inscription. It reads, “Free From Fear and Want”. I wonder what he must have done to earn such an award? Sometimes I would like to pin it to my coat as a reminder to myself that I am free of fear too.
If there is anything that I have lived with for most of my life, it would be fear. It seems to have been imbedded in my DNA. I remember being so afraid as a child and it never seemed to stop as I got older. In fact, it is something that I am so much against as a parent that I do not allow frightful things in our home. We do not even watch scary movies. I find nothing funny about deliberately frightening someone. We never turn away a child that has a bad dream in the night either. A little less sleep is worth a child feeling safe. This chain of fear has been broken.
We read in scripture, “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. Be he who fears has not been made perfect in love.” (1 John 4:18). This verse helps shape my words a bit better on how I feel about fear and what seems to be the opposite, love. And while my love by itself is not perfect, the love Christ has placed inside of me by His Holy Spirit is perfect. This is the love I want poured out in our home and anywhere else we go. What a difference that would make! Watching how our kids are growing so quickly reminds to not waste opportunities to give love away here at home. I choose love over fear.
Today in Bible study we read from Acts 18. The Lord spoke some powerful words to Paul and I let them sink deep into my own heart. He said, “Do not be afraid, but speak, and do not keep silent; for I am with you…”(Acts 18:9-10). The constant reminder that the Lord is always with us and living inside of us gives me great confidence. Not in myself, but in my God. This is the place I want our children to grow confident in. Fear will flee when you remember who you are and whose you are. And in the remembering I can picture a beautiful medal pinned to my coat. One that I did not earn, but Jesus Christ gave His life for me to have. Because His perfect love has the power to cast out all my fears. It seems to be that this has been satan’s plan all along. Maybe he thought if he could keep me fearful, then maybe I would be quiet. The opposite has indeed happened. This ingrained fear drove me straight into my Heavenly Father’s arms. And now I can recognize a fearful person in a second and I long to offer them the gift of His love. This invitation is for you to, friends. The choice is up to you. Freedom awaits.
*Go listen to Zach Williams, Fear is a Liar, if you need some encouragement:)
*Medal is from World War II. I addressed the fear part and will dive into the want piece soon. Been set free from that too!