1 John 4:18-19 – “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. 19 We love Him because He first loved us.” NKJV
Many times I’ve been told that the opposite of LOVE is HATE but the more I study the Bible the more convinced that it is FEAR not HATE that is love’s opposite. When I review passages such as 2 Timothy 1:7 – “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind” I become more convinced of this possibility.
Hate is an ‘emotional response’ to a stimulus whereas love is far more than an ‘emotional response’ although emotion may be a part of it. Love is a ‘condition of heart’ whereas hate is a ‘reaction’. Hate is a byproduct and love is a product. Fear is that antithesis of LOVE because it completely turns the heart away from God who is Love. It causes a paralysis of faith and according to John a person that is made perfect in love does not fear or one who fears is not made perfect in love. He tells us that there is no fear in love whereas in hate that can exist in a heart of love although it will ultimately taint it whereas fear will destroy it. Paul tells Timothy that there is a ‘Spirit of Fear’ which is opposite of the ‘Spirit of Power, Love, and Soundness of Mind.’
We are repeatedly warned about hatred but there is a heavy emphasis on dispelling fear even more than hate. I believe that if we dispel fear we will give love a place to grow and as love grows hate cannot find fertile ground in which to grow. If we allow fear to dominate it will drive out love and open the door for hatred, bitterness, strife, envy, and every evil thing. It is the impossibility of a heart to live in fear and love at the same time that conditions my belief on this matter. I am not talking about what the Bible speaks of as ‘reverential fear of God’ but of TORMENT that challenges the very existence of God, Good, and Biblical Reality. Fear imprisons like almost nothing else known to mankind.
I do not question the powerfulness and vileness of hate but I know firsthand and have observed the completely dominating power of fear! Hebrews 2 advises us that the ‘fear of death’ places lives in perpetual bondage whereas the love of God causes to look at death as mere sleep in the Lord. One brings peace the other torment.
If you are a ‘fearful’ person then I urge you to call to God and allow the Holy Spirit to shed the Love of God abroad in your heart so that ‘fear’ is completely banished. Allow the Holy Spirit to give you the “Spirit of Love, Peace, Power, and Soundness of Mind.” Allow God to enable you to LIVE LIFE ABUNDANTLY!
May God bless you as you go through your day!