Moving Toward or Away?

“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” 1 John 4:18 NIV

“We love because he first loved us.” 1 John 4:19 NIV

“Operating out of fear or love?”

Are we moving toward our Father or away from him? Am I operating out of fear or love? Thankfully, our Father operates out of love. He knows everything anyway, so take your fears to him.

You can always tell your spiritual health. Toward? Away?  Fear? Love?

When I’m hiding something, I’m moving away. It always means pain. If I’m anxious, worried, grouchy, isolating, you can bet I’m operating out of fear. You? Remember: Perfect Love drives out fear.

Even daily situations such as: An overdue bill? Criticism? Car repair? Kids? Spouse? Traffic? Rude people? Spill on your shirt? If we were to operate out of love, what would that look like?

As I write this, I feel tension. I think the daily things should be under my control. They rarely are. Even writing this encouragement, I’m thinking God, please give me your words and thoughts. Help me to move toward you.

How about those darn relationships? Kids pouting, needling, ignoring–If I were to operate out of love instead of fear (lack of control), what would that look like? Spouse hits you the minute you come through the door with a gargantuan list of problems, fatigue, gossip or frustration—if I were to operate out of love, what would that look like? Here’s the kicker! It takes honesty about ourselves, self-reflection, prayer, and a big dose of compassion. Sometimes the best thing is doing nothing with an attitude of grace. It’s not an overnight fix, but it’s a start.

Musings

“Let there be peace on Earth and let it begin with me.” That’s the way the song goes. Wish I could just sing a verse and all will be good. However, in order to be peaceful, I must move toward God who helps me, gently, to see my responsibility and release others to theirs. Am I operating out of love or fear? When I yell at the kids, roll my eyes at the spouse and other demeaning, yes, demeaning behaviors, I’m not being loving. I’m demeaning myself as well as others. Who can help? God, our Father.

Prayer

Father, I am grateful I can take all these daily frustrations to you. I am learning that I can’t even control myself. At these times, help me to see Perfect Love makes opening my heart to you makes me safe. Your gentle correction with me will pour into my daily frustrations. Help me to see with an open heart. Help me to forgive myself and learn. This helps me to forgive others.

Amen.

Published by Barbara Hinther

Barbara Hinther author of Meditations and Encouragement for the Caregiver of a Loved One with Dementia and What About Me, God. Time to share what she has learned and hopefully, others will know they are not alone. This too, shall pass with beautiful, yet painful, lessons. Barbara lives in a rural town in Idaho where all is community. Bless everyone in the community for their support and their never-ending let’s pitch in attitude! She worked in marketing for over 30 years and volunteered with the Idaho Youth Ranch and St. Vincent’s de Paul Thrift Store. Then her hardest job ever was caring for her husband who died from Lewy body dementia and needed her full-time care. Feelings of abandonment were constant. Life was very difficult for a while, but love, faith and hope will overcome. Let the adventure continue!

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