Last night we had another small group time together with friends. We gathered at the Olmstead’s home, sat in comfortable chairs and had some deep, meaningful conversations about life, love, and the pursuit of happiness. Well, not exactly, but we did open up the Bible and spend 45 minutes or so trying to make some sense of what we read.
Everyone had the chance to speak and all of us were given the gift of tuning in. I love sitting in on these small gatherings and listening. Not unlike a good BTL practice, my best learning comes when listening. One thought I heard quite often last night was around God’s consistency and humanities lack thereof. We’re reading through the opening book, Genesis, and story after story reveals insight into the human heart. As anthropologist Dan Brown discovered only recently, we humans are filled with fear. In his book titled Human Universals, Brown reveals his top five fears of humans the world over. We share these over and over in BTL practice as understanding your teams fears is paramount to leadership. The big five according to Brown are:
Fear of Death. Fear of the outsider. Fear of the future. Fear of chaos. And, finally, fear of coming and going and not leaving a mark.
We have an abundance of fear. No wonder we worry so much and have such an abundance of anxiety. We’ve been wired for it, huh. Last night, I asked the group what is the opposite of fear. Some responded with faith, others thought it was courage. Others remained silent, while jmo smiled sheepishly as he knew the answer. The opposite of fear is love, friend.
This morning as I opened up my Bible app and the verse of the day drove home my thinking. I share it as another reminder for those still paying attention. Here it is. I hope this encourages your heart. Good.
“God is love. When we take up permanent residence in a life of love, we live in God and God lives in us. This way, love has the run of the house, becomes at home and mature in us, so that we’re free of worry on judgement day – our standing in the world is identical with Christ’s. There is no room in love for fear. Well formed love banishes fear. Since fear is crippling, a fearful life – fear of death, fear of judgement – is one not fully formed in love.” 1 John 4:18 MSG
God, help me fear less and love more. God, fill me up, free me up, and help me get out of my own way. God, help me love more. God, help me…