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
I have often been told that the opposite of Love is Hate. However, the more I study the Bible, the more convinced that it is Fear, not Hate, 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 is assuredly a part of it. Love is a condition of the heart, whereas hate is a reaction. Hate is a byproduct, and love is the product. Fear is the antithesis of Love because it completely turns the heart away from God, who is Love.
Hate causes 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. If fear is allowed to survive, it will destroy the heart. Paul tells Timothy that there is a Spirit of Fear which is the opposite of the Spirit of Power, Love, and Soundness of Mind.
We are repeatedly warned about hate, but there is a heavy emphasis on dispelling fear even more than hate. If we dispel fear, we will give love a place to grow; as love grows, hate cannot find fertile ground to grow. Allowing fear to dominate will drive out love and open the door to hatred, bitterness, strife, envy, and evil.
A heart can’t live in fear and love at the same time. That strengthens my view 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 humanity.
I do not question the power and vileness of hate. 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 us to look at death as mere sleep in the Lord. One brings peace the other brings torment.
If you are a fearful person, 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!