A few weeks ago I saw a bumper sticker that simple read, LOVE > HATE. Not only did I want one for my jeep, I couldn’t stop thinking about it. In fact, my mind started thinking about other bumper stickers that would be great to see:
Love > Prejudice
Love > Judging
Love > The Need To Be Right
Love > Division
Love > Stress
I like all of those and then some, but as I thought about it, I think one bumper sticker would say it all: LOVE > FEAR. After all, I believe that hate, stress, pain and other “negative” emotions stem from fear. I also believe that the only thing that can overcome power of fear is the power of love. But it’s not just love, the only power that can overcome fear is perfect love. As John reminds us, perfect love casts out fear.
Perfect love. I love my family and my friends. While I love them deeply, my love is not perfect: even on my best day it is far from it. My love isn’t enough to cast out all fear. But there is Someone who loves my family and my friends infinitely more than I ever could. And that same Someone loves me more than I can ever begin to imagine or understand.
The perfect love that casts out all our fears is not something we can earn or achieve. We will never be good enough, smart enough or beautiful enough to deserve it. It is a free gift given to us. It simply comes down to our willingness to accept it. And when we accept (to the extent that we can) this love God has for us, we can be free from all fears.
I believe First United Methodist Church Missouri City is called to begin The Movement, a LOVE > FEAR MOVEMENT. I hope and pray that you will “sign on” to be part of The Movement. All it takes is your willingness to accept the amazing love God has for you. After all, you are the object and recipient of a perfect love that casts out all fear. And that is the power of the LOVE > FEAR MOVEMENT.