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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 The Voice
Sometimes I think we mistake love for something else. We mistake love as an exchange to make us feel good about ourselves. We mistake love as a currency. Neither of those are love.
God’s love created a path for redemption. There was no condition when Christ died on the cross. He didn’t say “If I do this, you need to do this in return for me.” No, He simply offered the gift. It is our choice whether to accept the gift or not. That is the truest and most powerful love. God’s love teaches us to let go of that currency mentality in love.
Sometimes it is hardest to love someone and not perform according to their expectations. What I mean is this: someone reaches out “in love” with the expectation that you will return what they need. They give in order to receive. The only way to break that cycle is to refrain from loving in that manner. Stop exchanging. It doesn’t mean you stop loving. It just means you stop performing like a trained seal. It means slow down, even stop if necessary. Seek authenticity. Examine your motives. Accept one another. Let go of expectations. Embrace personal responsibility without taking responsibility for someone else’s actions, feelings and behaviors. Stop trying to manipulate how someone else feels by giving them what you want from them. Freedom is on the other side!
God is love. Christ is our example.
Father, thank you for wrapping us in the perfection of Christ’s love and sacrifice for us.