It is always timely to reflect on God who because of His love for us chose to take on a human body and dwell among us so we do not have to fear eternity. So in our next two Wisdom Notes, we will explore 12 reasons to choose love over fear.
Life is like an unpredictable whirlwind of activities, people, thoughts, and feelings. The trails of life are rough for everyone at some point, and it can be all too tempting to want to stay in our homes and give into the lies of fear. We imagine the great obstacles ahead of us and think, “I’m never going to make it. It is all too much for me. I will stumble and fall.”
We are each given the chance every day to choose between two trails at various times and seasons in life – the trails of fear or love. The way to live a rich and satisfying life of freedom is through love.
1. Love is a natural pathway and provides motivation to travel towards something you can gain.
If you’re excited about an opportunity ahead of you, it shows you recognize there’s something to gain from it. This opportunity to gain – whether it’s a new job, a valuable business partner, a new place to call home, or a romantic relationship – will be fully realized when you are acting through love. Embrace the sacrifices necessary to achieve your goal, and forget that fear was ever there.
Vince Lombardi, the famous football coach, reminds us that in order to be successful, we must embrace the kind of hard work that we love. He says, “The price of success is hard work, dedication to the job at hand, and the determination that whether we win or lose, we have applied the best of ourselves to the task at hand.”
2. If you truly love something or someone, you will continue working towards success.
Despite the appearance that some people have it all together, life’s trek is not easy for anyone. The truth is anyone who has established long-lasting success in life had to continually fight for it until success arrived. The exact same will be true of your story. Nothing that lasts comes easily, and nothing that’s easy will last. Allow your love for your quest to keep you fueled as you encounter hardships and rigorous trails.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once remarked about the need to collectively continue working towards success, saying, “Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable…Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals.”
3. Love requires sacrifice, and if you are willing to sacrifice for what you love, you will grow exponentially.
When we find something we love in life, it requires sacrifice. The magnificent summits, people, and trails that we traverse in life are almost always the result of intentional sacrifice. We need to give something up in order to get something greater. Henry Ford once said, “One of the greatest discoveries a man makes, one of his great surprises, is to find he can do what he was afraid he couldn’t do.” Let the power of your love for your journey overtake any fear that claims you’re incapable of making the necessary sacrifices.
4. When you begin something great, it is because you “fell in love” with your project. Keep this mindset at the forefront of your actions.
Our brains possess an incredible power that awakens when we strike out to succeed at something we love. When we’re committed to achieving something we truly desire, it makes the work far simpler – a leisurely walk on a wide and flat trail. We become so enticed by our goals and results that our internal drive finds a way to make it happen.
Your goals exist for a reason and for a season. They motivate with a keen love for your work. Famous author Jack Canfield says, “Successful people maintain a positive focus in life no matter what is going on around them. They stay focused on their past successes rather than their past failures, and on the next action steps they need to take to get them closer to the fulfillment of their goals rather than all the other distractions that life presents to them.” Let the fact that you “fell in love” with your goal or project guide your steps toward success.
5. Biologically speaking, the human brain is more likely to respond to something positive than something negative. Choosing love will guide your brain positively.
On a simple biological level, your brain responds with greater clarity and vision when thinking about something positive rather than something negative. This is why it’s a fundamental human inclination to listen to people who agree with us, rather than people who speak from a different point of view. Take a moment to reflect on how diving head first into a project you love will keep your brain focused on positive action.
Speaking of action, Confucius offers sage advice when you encounter unexpected roadblocks with your goals, “When it is obvious that the goals cannot be reached, don’t adjust the goals, adjust the action steps.” It’s better to keep your path flexible than to give in to fear and abandon it entirely.
6. Fear will darken and cloud your path, but love will broaden and enlighten it.
Embracing your fear towards a project or goal will only hamper your ability to move forward. Concentrating on love will show you that anything is possible if you care enough to make it happen. As Franklin D. Roosevelt would say, “There is nothing to fear but fear itself.” Don’t let fear have any place on your path towards success!
Jesus’s closest friend the Apostle John puts it best when he describes perfect love that expels all fear in 1 John 4:16-19, “We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in his love. God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them. And as we live in God, our love grows more perfect. So we will not be afraid on the Day of Judgment, but we can face him with confidence because we live like Jesus here in this world. Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love. We love each other because he loved us first.”