One of the areas I think most of us struggle with in regards to fear  is not all that dramatic.  No one is chasing you with a dagger, or trying to steal your lunch money, its really much more mundane.

Its that old hymn that tells us that we love Jesus because he first loved us.  There is a courage on God’s part to initiate with us.  Jesus showed us that to be really human, means we must outpace our need for love with the extension of love.  These two are always in tension.  If you are a parent you can either do what is loving or what will make you liked.  This issue also manifests itself, much more subtly, in meeting new people.  We can become paralyzed by the idea of someone not liking/approving/loving us so we shave off the edges of our faith, values, behaviors that others might find odd.

Most of us spend the majority of our lives wanting and feeling like we need to be loved BEFORE we move out in love toward others.  Yet the Kingdom of God calls us the flip the paradigm.  To instead extend love even when it is met with scorn, isolation, mockery, or even just an initial bewilderment on the part of others.  This is the way of the Kingdom.  As Christians we must embrace that most of our relationships with non-Christians will begin with some of these barriers, that we will have to extend love without it possibly being reciprocated.  But this is missional living, less of you, more of Jesus.



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