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
Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. –Philippians 2:2-4
Nik Wallenda is the world’s greatest tightrope walker. He accomplished two historic feats of waking across the Grand Canyon and Niagara Falls. Nik wanted to tightrope by the Armenian Evangelical Church of New York by going across the Chrysler Building to the Empire State Building, but the city did not give the permit to allow for it to take place. Nik is a Christian and when he is tight-roping he is in worship mode. He is constantly thanking and praising Jesus Christ as he is walking through the air. If Nik were struck by fear, he would fall. If he became prideful and did not take the necessary caution required to walk on thin rope, he would also fall. Likewise, to be a Christian we must be in a continuous state of worship to avoid the pitfalls of fear and pride.
The Christian life is one of walking down the narrow path of loving others as Jesus loves us. Two of the great enemies of love are pride and fear. Pride says: I am better than others, therefore I can do whatever I please. Fear says: I am not good enough to act in love; therefore, I do nothing. Fear and pride are alike in that they focus on the self and not the other. When we are self-absorbed, we are living in sin. Pride leads to the sin of commission, doing the things we should not do. Fear leads to sins of omission, not doing what we are supposed to do. When we lose sight of the Gospel of love, we will fall into ourselves; we will fall into sin.
Fear holds us hostage by telling us that we are not good enough, that we will not get through life’s challenges. Living in fear creates a toxic victim-mentality that questions the love of God. But when we receive the perfect love of God, fear is uprooted. Jesus is victorious over sin and death! We are victors not victims! Fear becomes irrational in light of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Even if you were to die right now as you read this, your eternity can be secured in Him. Fear not, church, God is with us.
Pride is the opposite of love. Pride ignores the needs of the other people, and privileges the service of self. When we seek what is best for others, we move from being self-centered to becoming God-centered. Salvation is not something we can earn. Rather, salvation is a free gift achieved by Jesus’ death and resurrection. This removes pride because it is by grace that we are saved – not our own doing.
When we receive the love of God, fear gets eliminated. When we give love, pride gets destroyed. We must commit to loving God and others. This is not an option for the body of Christ, but is our duty. Let us purpose to do acts of love so that pride and fear get annihilated. Let us love!