But at what cost? I am so sick of having fear in my life. I am sick of watching fear take over the people that I love. Personally, I have given up on it. But I can feel my stomach churn every time I hear someone who is consumed by fear and guilt. More often than not, people don't even know that's what is driving them.
Here in the Bible Belt, the "perverted protestantism" of it all, is consumed by these things. Fear and Guilt. The drama of it wears on me. It's just too much.
People are afraid of sin, they are afraid to break the rules. Some are driven completely by guilt, to do more, to please more, to give more.
Where is the love? What would happen if people lived life in love? What if their decisions, conversations, and opinions were motivated by LOVE? Fear and love, guilt and love... cannot exist together. Fear closes you, Love opens you up. You absolutely can not have a healthy balance of the two. You must choose one or the other. And you have to choose. It IS a choice.
The sad part is, most people living in fear don't even realize it. Fear disguises itself as love so easily. It wears the mask of love. It convinces your soul you are only afraid because you love so much. I used to live that way.
The FEAR that someone you love will make a mistake. Why not love them so intensely that you understand mistakes need to be made. LOVE them so much that they have somewhere to fall after they mess up. LOVE them enough to let them live without fear.
Chances are, if you feel at some point or another that I am not responding to you, be it for an hour, a day, or longer- its because you came at me from a place of fear. And not of love. I will not be shut down by fear. I refuse.
I have spent too many years of my life afraid of doing something wrong, afraid of change, afraid of the unknown. For too long I lived with the subtle guilt that far too often comes in the Christian life. The quiet guilt that lies in the pit of your stomach. The guilt that is so sneaky and contrived you rarely even know its there. Its the worst kind. And if you allow it to become your conscience it will control you.
The Christian road was not paved by guilt. It was paved by the promises of love. And peace. And comfort. And faith. Not fear.
Fear is the opposite of peace, and guilt is the opposite of love.
I am not of afraid of where I am in life, I do not feel guilty for the person I have been created to be. We are all wired differently, we all feel differently, we all live differently. No one is expected to be the same. No one should be afraid to be different, or feel guilty for taking their own paths.