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The opposite of Love is fear, not hate

The opposite of Love is fear, not hate

By Oluwatoyosi Adegunle 
Edited by Bibi Babatunde-Ikotun 

Can we ever truly understand how love really works? I mean, it is so huge, deep and wide, you have to rely on God to fully understand it and be able to live it. The beauty of having a relationship with God is that you learn every day and you’re able to have a full-on conversation with God about anything. An exciting journey, if you ask me! 

As big as love is, there’s only one side to its perfection, God! God is love and with love, he births all the beautiful things you see, with love, he created you, your colleague, your ex-boyfriend or girlfriend, your boss, your friends, your parents, your classmate and every single person you know on earth. Love is the foundation of our salvation, what else could make a man die for you? Nothing but love!  It is a sweet experience to be able to love Jesus and his people.

Romans 5:8 (NIV) But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Even when we were His enemies, He loved us so much that He came to die for our sins. It makes no sense that He will die for sinners. The ones who hate and despise Him. Perhaps, if He died for a bunch of good people that we can rationalize it. But no, He has so much love for the terrorist, the witch, the sex addict, the drug dealer. It is our very own badness that qualified us to be worth His life. His love is thicker than we can ever imagine or conceptualize. 

2 Timothy 1:7  (KJV) For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

The verse above makes it clear that God has not given us fear (not hate) but what He has given us is love. Juxtapose love with fear as God has done in His word.  The devil, as usual, is in the business of providing an option or counterfeit of everything beautiful and good that God has created, and his counterfeit for Love is fear. Fear has nothing good to give you as a believer; it is not spiritual to be fearful. No, it’s not the same fear referred to in the scripture that says “the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom”. This refers to reverence and honour for God, which is the starter pack for wisdom as a child of God.

Since God has not given us the spirit of fear, why hold onto it, and live your life in absolute fear?

Living in fear is like living in bondage. It deprives you of freedom, expression, fullness and beauty. Fear won't let you live boldly for Christ. It births envy, depression, sadness, hate, impatience and a lot of other bad stuff that does not aid your spiritual growth. As believers, we are expected to express the love of God in our hearts towards people and situations without limitation. You shouldn't only live in the fullness of love when you're happy and have everything 'going on well' for you. Nothing should be able to separate you from the love of God, irrespective of how you feel or what goes on around you, you should always embrace the love of God in your heart. 

Hate is not the opposite of Love, it is a work of the flesh that emanates from fear. Where love is present, fear can not thrive and vice versa. You need to choose wisely. Choose love and reject fear!

What does the word of God say about fear?

  • Love is Kind. It is thoughtful, considerate and compassionate. 1 Corinthians 13:4
  • Love does not get angry easily. It forgives and does not bear grudges. 1 Corinthians 13:5
  • Love is affectionate towards another. It honours and respects people. Romans 12:10
  • Love is not selfish and never hurts people with words or actions Romans 13:10
  • Perfect love casts out fear, hate and evil. Fear is not in your makeup. You can't be fearful and loving at the same time. 1 John 4:18

God has said and still says a lot of beautiful things about love and you can't but marvel at each revelation of love. You can't love God and hate your neighbour. The deal is to love your neighbour as you love yourself with the love of Christ!

Embrace the one true love of God in your heart.

If you find it difficult to love God, yourself or people, and you find yourself living in fear or hate, talk to God in prayers, speak to a fellow believer and keep doing the word of God even as you wait on God to give you more strength.


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