Verse to Remember: “…all of you should be of one mind, full of sympathy toward each other, loving one another with tender hearts and humble minds.” — I Peter 3:8 (NLT)
Question to Consider: To whom will you lend your strength today, and how will you do it?
[Read More] thoughts on Day 18 of Rick Warren’s 40 Days of Community.
It is not a word I think about very often, though paradoxically the more I mature the more aware I am of how my relationships and perceptions are distorted by its subtle effects. I find it fascinating how Rick explores the idea of “support” as the antidote to fear, instead of merely quoting “Perfect love casts out all fear.” Rather, it is love manifesting itself as support and acceptance, through humility, which truly cures fear.
From this perspective, I can see that a lot of my discomfort with the group has been due to my fear of not being accepted in my weaknesses. This passage is helpful in validating that fear, by articulating the fact that I don’t feel supported. However, that doesn’t justify my fear. In fact, it raises the possibility that maybe it is their fear that makes them react in ways they think is supportive, even though I find it discouraging.
Thus, the solution is not for me to pull away, or whine about their lack of support. Rather, the challenge is for me to find ways to communicate love, support, and acceptance to them, in ways they can feel. That is, to draw strength from God to create for others the kind of environment I want for myself.
Prayer: God, forgive me for the many times I’ve drawn away from others in fear, rather than drawing close to you in the midst of my fears. Grant me the courage, confidence, and hope to reach out to others with love, support, and acceptance, that I might cure both myself and them of fear. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.