Love Overcomes Fear
1 John 4:16-19
We made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
The thought of making a fearless moral inventory may sound like an impossible task. Looking at our lives on a moral basis can be very frightening. How can we get to the place where the word fearless can actually describe the moral inventory we make?
The apostle John said, "As we live in God, our love grows more perfect. So we will not be afraid on the day of judgment, but we can face him with confidence because we live like Jesus here in this world. Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love" (1 John 4:17-18).
Love is the key. God, who is the final judge of all morality, loves us perfectly. He doesn't just love us if we're perfect. Perhaps we've had people withhold love and shame us for our faults and failures. If we've only known love to be conditional, it only makes sense that admitting our faults causes us to be afraid of losing the love and acceptance we all need.
To eliminate the fear, we need to surround ourselves with unconditional love from God and other people. Only unconditional love will cover our shame and give us confidence that no matter what we find when we look at ourselves, we will always be loved. The apostle Peter affirmed this by saying, "Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins" (1 Peter 4:8).
Our moral inventory needs a constant review from the perspective of God's love.