Sunday, March 7, 2010

Love, Fear, and Ego

"There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. 1 John 4.18 NKJV

Fear is a proof that man still longs to defend his own ego and pities himself. It is a symptom of self-love and stands in opposition to faith. Fear weakens faith and deprives man of its fruits.

Faith itself is an exodus from man’s ego and a denial to self, an exodus urged by man’s love for God and for other people. A true believer is one who has surrendered his soul and body to God. Fearing nothing at all, he puts all his trust in God’s faithful promises: “He who believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live” (Jn 11.25). It Is in this spirit that Abraham offered his son: “He considered that God was able to raise men even from the dead” (Heb 11.19). In this spirit also did the three young men, undaunted, enter into the fiery furnace. They were sure that God would save them from its flames: “O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. If it be so, our God who we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace; and he will deliver us out of your hand, O king” (Dan 3.16, 17). When thrown into the den of lions, Daniel trusted in his God: “So Daniel was taken up out of the den, and no kind of hurt was found upon him, because he had trusted in his God” (Dan 6.23).

In order to grasp the danger of fear and the harm it inflicts on our spiritual life, we should ponder this verse: “But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the polluted, as for murderers, fornicators, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their lot shall be in the lake that burns with fire and sulphur, which is the second death” (Rev 21.8).

You might be surprised to see the cowardly placed at the head of this sinister list. The reason for this is that fear is the element that causes our fall into the rest of all these sins.

Exceprt taken from the book: Orthodox Prayer Life, By: Matthew the Poor

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