Context — There Is No Fear in Love
There Is no Fear in Love
This post has been nearly a year in the making.
Each one of us struggles through different thought temptations. By God’s grace, in this we are not unique. That concept in part inspired my prayers and search through the Psalms and various Old Testament accounts to find a few which resonated with me as pointedly shouting God’s goodness against a few common serpent hisses.
Note: I tend to hesitate posting too much block text denoting unhealthy thought loops, since, if we are not careful, they can draw us in. However, I chose to include as much as appears here because, in this case, I thought it important to quantify the ‘mountain’ to help demonstrate that it doesn’t even deserve the honour of a molehill.
Truly, those hisses need not have any power against us. Ever.
It is not necessary to read the indented sections to get the essence of the post. However, if you would like to read them, I explain my methodology more at the end of this context.***
Of course, we are not perfect, and so we stumble, and so the serpent strikes, and so we reach out for some sorely needed relief (and whether we realize it or not at the time, repentance and salvation). God in His mercy equips us with many reminders and tools for precisely these situations as we strive to live in more perfect unity with Him.
Our lives for now are rife with unseen warfare. Every moment IS a battle. Some moments — some battles — are inevitably harder than others. But we must remember that the outcome of every battle IS Christ’s victory, should we choose to embrace His loving gift.
And so (last ‘and so’ for this context, promise), this post is one culmination of my imperfect musings on the topic of perfection.
The outspoken, perhaps even graphic, nature of the “hiss” sections in this post are a reflection of how the topic often approaches me in my current life experience. Therefore, the Psalm and Old Testament account choices followed from that.
I would love to hear from you about your experiences, and what passages resonate with you.
May your way be brighter and your dreams sweeter. Thank you for taking the time to visit! The peace of God be with your spirits,
“Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world. There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. We love Him because He first loved us.” 1 John 4:17-19 NKJV
In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, one God, Amen.
***The indented text is written without punctuation due to its stream of consciousness nature, to mimic the racing, spiraling nature of these thoughts. Each one of us experiences different attacks at different times, and we may experience attacks in different ways for ourselves. With the context set by the preceding text blocks, and directed by the bias of your own experiences, where punctuation can occur may change, which alters the meanings of the text in a way that may be more relevant for you.
For example, the following text from the post, where the theme is delusion and redirection:
zealous for too narrow open eyes before ruins unveil absorb the present the self-serving satisfaction careen love to the easy sign with breath your future for the moment fog spins a seductive temporary gown
Can be punctuated this way:
zealous for too-narrow. open eyes before ruins unveil. absorb the present, the self-serving satisfaction. careen love to the easy — sign, with breath, your future. for the moment fog spins a seductive temporary gown.
In this punctuation format, we open with identifying an attack on what is good — those evil thoughts don’t want you focused on the narrow path Christ sets before us. Next it tries to redirect you, telling you to open your eyes to its reality. Knowing that we will shy away from pain, though, it needs to hook us quickly before we realize how awful it is. Now that it has redirected you, it immerses you in the trap of instant gratification. Next is to throw love off course by binding yourself in the present at the cost of your future. This evil thought ends by taunting your helplessness in that even knowing this gratification is temporary, you still cannot resist.
Here is another alternative, of many ways it could be punctuated:
zealous for too narrow open eyes. before ruins unveil, absorb the present. the self-serving satisfaction: careen love to the easy sign. with breath, your future for the moment. fog spins a seductive temporary gown.
In this punctuation format, we move from an external opening attack like before, to an internal one, preying on one’s own weakness — in this case, the self-delusion we often make for ourselves to justify wrong actions. We may rationalize our eyes are wide open to truth, but in fact they are not; they are narrow. Next, it tries to re-frame the future from a place of hope to a place of ruination, so we might as well enjoy the moment without thought of consequences. It then tells you how — with self-serving satisfaction — and provides instructions. With everything we encounter in life, place your love in signs and meanings that are easiest, and we do this by how we live, replacing future destruction for the easy life. The terms and conditions can bite, though, and that last sentence shows that this deal is no exception — it will not last, but still tries to convince you how beautiful it is. The previous punctuation ended the thought-trap internally, and here we end it externally.