The key to love and fear

th-15

You hold the key to love and fear
All in your trembling hand
Just one key unlocks them both
It’s there at you command

       – from the song, “Get Together” by the Youngbloods

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

       – 2 Timothy 1:7

It’s been a learning week. I led you through a dark tunnel where I succumbed to my fears and intimidations. I forgot who I was for a while. I didn’t listen to the Lord. I knew better, but still I had to experience what I was feeling, so I wrote about it and hit “SEND” before I gave myself a chance to find a way out.

It’s important to know that this happens to all of us even when we know better. There are plenty of instances of Paul and the apostles not paying attention to their own words, even as they wrote the Scriptures. Imagine having someone quote scripture to you, because you needed to hear it, and realizing you were the one who wrote it! I’m sure it happened. The letters of Paul, Peter, James and John were used as Scripture even as they were writing them and sending them around to all the churches. As Peter wrote, “just as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given him, wrote to you, as also in all his letters, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which the untaught and unstable distort, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction” (2 Peter 3:15-16). Peter is clearly putting Paul’s letters on par with “the rest of the Scriptures.” Anyone who gives advice is going to have to learn to receive it as well.

Yes, we hold the key to love and fear in our trembling hands, and we can unlock either one at will. Haven’t you ever become aware that you have been unconsciously unlocking fear in your life for a while, and it’s time to stop it? That was me this week. Instead, you can unlock love, power and a sound mind. It’s at your command. It’s your choice. If you’re wallowing in fear, whose fault is that? We really don’t have anyone or anything that we can blame. This is bad news for our fear and our excuses; good news for us, should we choose to act on it!

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7 Responses to The key to love and fear

  1. John A Fagliano says:

    It’s funny how we can make mistakes when we know better. I get frustrated with myself when that happens and I wonder if I’m not learning. But maybe we need to relearn old lessons when we’ve forgotten how to apply them. The practice keeps us on our toes. Maybe that’s the only reason why life puts these situations on us. We need to keep practicing how to overcome fear so we don’t forget how to do that.

  2. kellief4 says:

    Wow! Apparently I am catching up. When I saw your devotion come in just now, and started reading, I realized I had not read any of yours this week! I just thought y’all were on a little vacation. I’m sorry you’ve been struggling so much. But God is with you in that struggle and preparing you for what you have to do.

  3. Don’t sell yourself short, John.
    It may seem to you that you didn’t “listen” to the Lord but also, perhaps, just perhaps you may have “heard” Him prompting you to hit that SEND button anyway – even against your own reasoned judgment.
    Otherwise, a truer introspection, a healthier reality check, a deeper dialogue between you and the Catch community may have never occurred.
    And then what? What other direction could this weeks Catch’s have gone that would have been better or more purposeful for you or any of us?
    No, John, you did all right leading us through the darkness of your personal “tunnel” as well as helping open our eyes to see Light at the end of our individual tunnels.

    “My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways,” declares the LORD. “…My word that proceeds from My mouth will not return to Me empty, but it will accomplish what I please, and it will prosper where I send it.
    You will indeed go out with joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands…”
    ~ Isaiah 55:8-13 (BSB)

  4. Hans says:

    Hi John,
    Sorry, but the wonderful passage you (and many others) attribute to Nelson Mandela was actually written by Marianne Williamson in her book A Return to Love.
    https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Marianne_Williamson
    Thanks for quoting it though – just what I needed to hear!
    Blessings, will be praying for your speaking at brother Arnold’s funeral, which will go well I’m sure…

  5. Lisa in Sunland says:

    BobNearSeattle wrote pretty much what I was thinking (only better). Personally, I’m SO glad you didn’t show the “doubtful” Catch to Marti so she could keep you from posting it. Sharing your moments of doubt and weakness just shows further depth of Grace Turned Outward. Taking us on all levels of your journey is an act of grace and sharing that we appreciate and is so helpful to us! Blessings on ya.

  6. TimC says:

    It’s interesting how we all see the same thing slightly differently. Tuesday’s Catch was something I could relate to, because it’s what I go thru nearly every minute of nearly every day ( the remaining times, I’m lower than that.)
    To me, it was John “unveiled” and “unplugged”. It was honest, true and open. And I could relate.
    So it makes me wonder if the 2 Corinthians 3:13 veil is back?
    Am I back to having no one to relate to?

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