“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love.” 1 John 4:18
I’ve experienced a lot of fear in my life. I’ve questioned why I have fear. I used to read this verse and believe that if I felt fear at all, then I must not be a loving enough person. I thought if only I loved more, the fear would go away.
One day I came to the point where I started seeing this verse in a whole new light. It was something about this part of the verse: “He that feareth is not made perfect in love…” The sentence I just quoted passive. “He” is not the “maker” of perfection. “He” is the object of the sentence. If “He” is fearing, WHO hasn’t made him perfect (mature) in love?
The subject (the doer of the verb “made”) is not in this sentence, but is found throughout the chapter. The “WHO” of Verse 18 is the other believers who are not true, or the false prophets.
Here are a few key scriptures that I’d like to bring to your attention from this chapter:
Verse 1, “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.”
Verses 7-8, “Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.”
Verse 11: “Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.”
Verse 21: “And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.”
After studying 1 John Chapter 4, I came to realize that when I fear, it is a good possibility that I am not around people who are loving me. We fear when we are in danger. We fear when we are insecure. We fear when we believe people are out to get us or are attacking us. We fear when we are rejected, neglected or forgotten. We fear when we are abused. We fear when we are not loved.
That doesn’t mean there are no irrational, sudden over powering fears that have nothing to do with other people. There are, as seen in Proverbs 3:25-26, “Be not afraid of sudden fear, neither of the desolation of the wicked, when it cometh. For the Lord shall be thy confidence, and shall keep thy foot from being taken.” In this verse, God was telling us not to have irrational fears about things that haven’t happened yet, even if they are on the way. God is our confidence.
I wish there were enough room on this blog post to type out all of 1 John, Chapter 4. The chapter is about love: God’s love and the church’s love for one another. If this blog post speaks to you, I recommend you read the entire chapter and allow the Spirit of God to put the message of 1 John 4 into your spirit.
Rachael Hartman is an experienced writer and author. She has worked as a full-time newspaper reporter, and as a freelance contributor to magazines. She writes high school Sunday school material for Word Aflame Press as well as lessons for Project 7 (P7) student-led Bible Clubs, Link247. She enjoys health and exercise, reading, art, and playing with her two dogs Darla and Danny. She owns Our Written Lives of Hope bookstore & publishing services. Check out her web site at www.owlofhope.com and link to her on Facebook.