Love is stronger than fear. {1 John 4:18}

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“I fear that we’ve lost the ability to be kind. Have we crossed a line where we have forgotten how to love each other?”

– Suzie Eller, Overcoming Fear Video

Scrolling through Facebook can feel like stepping across a field of land mines sometimes. Politics. Social issues. The latest offense at school or work or the fast food drive-through. It’s all there. Angry words, sharp-pointed opinions, the shrapnel of bitterness and envy. Why do we do this to each other?

I’ve come to believe this: We are most angry when we are most afraid. It’s the old flight or fight response built into our bodies from the beginning. Some of us flee but others of us pick up our guns and load them with words. We think we are saving ourselves, maybe even saving the world, but we are destroyers in disguise.

I recently talked about this with my friends and fellow writers Jennifer Watson and Suzie Eller. During our conversation this came to mind: “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear” (1 John 4:18). We, as humans, tend to think if we can have things our way then the world will be better. So we fight our fear aggressively and forcefully. We post and shout. We raise our fists and our voices.

But what if instead of those angry words and that tirade online we simply go to the person who is standing in our kitchen today and say, “I love you and I am for you”? Or we reach out to someone who is different than us? Because we also fear what we don’t understand. And if we’re spending all our time saying, “here’s my opinion” then we’re not listening, not understanding. Fear wins.

Jennifer asked, “What would it be like if we made a commitment to fight for each other instead of with each other?” It’s a question worth considering if we want to defeat fear. Because if we live with swords drawn in defense then we are always on guard, looking for the next fight, seeing threatening shadows in every corner.

We have a Protector. He is good. He is wise. He is kind. And here’s what we need to know: He hasn’t asked us to be right all the time. He has called us to love. This is the harder, braver choice. Because it requires opening our hearts instead of our mouths. It’s about seeing each other not as threats but as people made in the image of God. It means we lay down our weapons and go, with arms wide open, down a path that could very well lead to a cross.

At first we might all still be scared. This is not the easy option, after all. But it will be worth it. It’s the only way back to grace and peace, mercy and hope, humility and kindness.

I still believe this: Love is stronger than fear. And we are better together.

XOXO

Holley Gerth

P.S. This post is Part One of the End the Year with Less Fear series inspired by the live Overcoming Fear video I did last week with Suzie Eller and Jennifer Watson. If you missed it, you can watch it now below!

{Email Subscribers, if you can’t see the video click here.}

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Welcome to the Coffee for Your Heart weekly link-up! You’re an encourager so I’m asking you to pour out a little love with your words every Wednesday {link-up goes live at 5:30am CST}. Simply write an encouraging blog post and then share it here. Don’t have a blog? You can still write an encouraging comment. If you’re reading this by email, go to holleygerth.com to see all the fun and join in too.

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I’m having Coffee For Your Heart with my friend Holley Gerth

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About Holley

About Holley

Wall Street Journal Bestselling Author and Life Coach

I like humans, words, and good coffee. And I’d love to help you beat what’s holding you back, become all you’re created to be, and kick butt for the greater good.

Cheering you on,

Holley

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