“For Christ’s love compels us.” 2 Corinthians 5:14
Can you imagine being compelled by love?
It has been a difficult thing for me to come to the realization recently that for the majority of my life, what mostly compelled me in my day-to-day living was fear and anxiety. For 45 years of my life, fear and anxiety were the primary drivers of most everything I did. It’s what got me out of bed; got me to work on time; made me clean up the house; maintain my car; mow my lawn. “What would people think of me if I did not do those things?” is what I would subconsciously think. The sad thing is I was totally unaware I was living in this state of being … I simply called it life.
I became a believer in Christ at age 18. Unfortunately, this had little or no impact on me living out of fear and anxiety. If anything, it added to it. As a matter of fact, I thought as a Christian I should always have a low level of fear and anxiety about something (myself, my kids falling away from God, going into a life of sin, etc.). My thinking was, it’s unspiritual to not be living in some type of fear. Contentment may lead me to complacency. What other type of EFFECTIVE motivation is there but fear?
However, this constant, low-level fear and anxiety have taken a toll on me physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.
But I missed it! For over 40 years of my walk with God … I missed it!!
- “An anxious heart weighs a man down.” Proverbs 12:25
- “Do not be anxious about anything.” Philippians 4:6
- “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life.” Matthew 6:25
- “Which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?”Matthew 6:27
- “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow.” Matthew 6:34
- “Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?” Luke 12:25
Living life primarily motivated by constant low-level fear and anxiety is not God’s intended plan. I have come to realize that LOVE is to be the primary motivator for the follower of Christ. Could you imagine? What gets us out of bed is LOVE? What gets us to work is LOVE? What gets me to mow my lawn is LOVE? What would have to happen in my heart for LOVE to replace fear as my primary motivator?
Something would have stir incredibly deeply in me, something that was more powerful than my fear. Can LOVE become more powerful than fear? When I actually look at how God interacted with many in the Bible, the answer is yes! LOVE in combination with a good measure of TRUST can overcome the greatest of fears. I can be motivated by love to trust, serve, follow, give, change—but I have to receive love from God, truly trust in his love, or it will never work.
Living life from a foundation of God’s unconditional love becomes a consistent, predictable motivator. His love is the only predictable aspect of my day.