“Everything we do is motivated by either fear or by love.”

Those 11 words spoken by my dad in a sermon he gave recently shot straight into my brain with deadly accuracy. It slowly began to penetrate deeper as he repeated the statement two more times.

I remember a teacher that I had years ago who told me if he repeated something more than once in class, it was probably worth writing down. So that is what I did.

“Everything we do is motivated by either fear or by love.”

Reading this countless times over the past couple of months I’ve realized that shot didn’t just hit my brain, it hit my heart.

Everything we do is motivated by either fear or by love.

1 John 4:17-18 in the Message version of the Bible puts it like this:

God is love. When we take up permanent residence in a life of love, we live in God and God lives in us. This way, love has the run of the house, becomes at home and mature in us, so that we’re free of worry on Judgment Day — our standing in the world is identical with Christ’s. There is no room in love for fear. Well-formed love banishes fear. Since fear is crippling, a fearful life — fear of death, fear of judgment — is one not yet fully formed in love.

Fear forces.

Love serves.

Fear stops us dead in our tracks.

Love is the catalyst that propels us forward.

Fear is a very powerful emotion and it can play an important role in our lives. Fear has to be put into perspective though.

Fear can serve as a healthy boundary to protect us from harm: Every time our little girl is close to the stove, she says “Hot”. She knows that if she touches that burner, it’s going to hurt.

Fear can operate as a barometer of respect: I have a healthy fear of God. His ways and thoughts are higher than mine (Isaiah 55:8–9). He is the creator and I am His creation. Enough said.

Fear is the single greatest factor that cripples us into believing that we have limited potential in this beautiful gift of life that we’ve been given.

Fear is selfish.

Fear is not your friend.

Fear is from the enemy.

Everything we do is motivated by either fear or by love.

Fear is a prison. Love is the key

We live in a world that is infatuated with the novelty of love. What we don’t realize though is the novelty of love isn’t as powerful as the intimacy of love. But that’s what we are called to. The intimacy of love is hard. It requires work, upkeep, patience, and perseverance. It requires sacrifice.

No matter what anyone might tell you, they deep down at the soul level want to be loved. As humans, we crave it. It has become increasingly hard, in a sin sick world where love has been twisted and perverted, to let another person know us intimately enough to love us unconditionally. It has become even more difficult to love ourselves.

There is one who can break this cycle. One who came with a mission rooted in love. There is one who is wrapped up in the DNA of love.

Love is our provider.

Love is our protector.

Love is the single most powerful agent of change that this world will ever know.

Love is our only hope.

Jesus is love.

Jesus isn’t our religion. Jesus is our Savior. Because we are created in His image, Jesus has called us to be love. He has passed the torch to us. And he is calling us to evolve in how we understand and demonstrate love.

I love this quote by Joshua Medcalf in his book Chop Wood Carry Water:

Every day I’m learning how to fuel my heart & starve my fears. Love attracts energy. Fear consumes it.”

Every day we must focus on what fuels our heart: What we listen to, what we read, what we watch, the conversations we engage in, how we spend our time — all of these things either fill our tanks up or the run them dry.

We all need to ask ourselves, “What kind of fuel are we using?”

What am I motivated by? Am I operating paralyzed by fear or propelled by love? Am I building on a strong foundation of love or a faulty faulty foundation of fear? How about you?

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