God, who has called you into fellowship with his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, is faithful…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 Corinthians 1:9 & 1 John 4:18
Sheba loves people and has no awareness that there are those who would abuse her, and even if she did I doubt that she’d be afraid because she knows that she belongs to us and she trusts us completely to take care of her. As a result, she happily goes up to anyone and everyone she sees with no fear of rejection. She also knows what behavior is expected of her and that she will be reprimanded if she misbehaves; yet she remains unafraid because she loves and trusts us.
Perfect love casts out all fear, and God loves us perfectly, so why are we afraid? He’s not “out to get us.” We don’t have to fear his wrath unless we disobey his commands; and even then, while we can expect a gentle reprimand, isn’t that what we need—what we want? A master who loves us enough to correct us, to show us the right way to behave; yet a loving master to whom we can take our problems as well as our joys without fear of rejection.
As Sheba reflects our love for her by fearlessly loving others, so should we also reflect God’s love for us by loving even those who may seem frightening to us—those whose lifestyles are different than ours, those of whom we don’t approve. Jesus himself reached out to the sinners of his day, even living and socializing with them! They were the tax collectors, the prostitutes, the people who were looked down upon by the religious leaders. He was criticized for it too.
Later when Jesus was eating supper at Matthew’s house with his close followers, a lot of disreputable characters came and joined them. When the Pharisees saw him keeping this kind of company, they had a fit, and lit into Jesus’ followers. “What kind of example is this from your Teacher, acting cozy with crooks and riffraff?” Jesus, overhearing, shot back, “Who needs a doctor: the healthy or the sick? Go figure out what this Scripture means: ‘I’m after mercy, not religion.’ I’m here to invite outsiders, not coddle insiders.” Matthew 9:10-13 The Message
What a role model! Lord, let me love as Jesus did—fearlessly!