And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. 1 John 4:16-18
Fear has driven men to do and to fail to do many things.
The Greek word for fear used in 1 John 4:18 might sound familiar to you. The word used in this passage is phóbos and is where we get the word “phobia.” Common phobias include things like spiders, heights, and public speaking. But one of the most prevalent fears among men was coined as the “Imposter Syndrome” back in the 1980’s. And it is just as it sounds. The Imposter Syndrome is the fear of being found out. It is the nagging thought that you are not as (fill in the blank) as people considered you to be. And this fear has driven men to puff up or shrink back. It has wreaked havoc on the spiritual lives of many men, mine included.
Having been a vocational pastor my entire professional career, I’m incredibly fearful that I might not know something about the Bible, church, or theological idea. I’ve disqualified myself many times from courageous action for God. I’ve also let on I know more than I do. But the truth is that when I feel loved, I’m most vulnerable to be who I truly am in front of others. God is love, and before Him, all men can have the confidence to be who we are. Faith that God is who He says is the most useful tool when fighting fear.