People who mistreat us are shackled by their sin and–we need not fear what a slave can do to us–right? What is our typical reaction towards people who bully or intimidate us? Do we get a knot in the pit of our stomach? Do we have sleepless nights? Do we react in kind? Fear produces all kinds of unholy reactions within us. Fear is sin because it’s doubting God’s power. Our relationship with God gives us a choice and we don’t have to live in fear of our enemies–unless we CHOOSE to!

The Bible says: “Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. By this is love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because as he is so also are we in this world. There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.” (‭1 John‬ ‭4:15-18‬) http://bible.com/59/1jn.4.15-18.esv. When we are God’s child and when we stay close to Him–His love casts out our fear.

How does that work? Well, when we’re close to Him, we must recognize that the person who is hateful is imprisoned by their sin. We’re standing outside the cell with Him, looking inside at them. We have no reason to be afraid; rather, we can show them compassion and love. We hold the key to their jail cell. We were there once, so we know what it’s like. We can give them compassion and love. How they respond to it is not our responsibility–that’s between them and God. Their mistreatment of us shouldn’t taint how we treat them. God doesn’t do this to us. In fact, He even knows our future sins and He still loves us. He washed the feet of His murderer. Rather than fearing those who are slaves to sin, God’s power within us allows us to love. In His love, we do not fear those who are slaves!

From the book, “Essential Faith” Volume 2 available on Amazon by clicking HERE .

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