“Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment…” (1 John 4:17)
How many of us can approach our day of judgment with boldness? If we loved perfectly we could approach the certainty of our judgment day with boldness and no fear.
Perhaps John is assuming we know the New Testament teaching that love is the fulfilling of the law. If we love our brother, sister, neighbor or even our enemies we will not cheat them, steal from them, or break any of the laws that govern our relationship with the people who intersect our life. If we love God and others the way Jesus showed us and taught us to love we would not fear judgment. In fact, John writes in the next verse that we would eliminate fear.
Some people have fear for which there is no basis in fact. We call that neurotic fear. Many have fear that is rooted in a fear of losing their possessions. If we really understand what it means to be holy, to be a faithful steward, or to love God and to love others with the love of Jesus, we will have surrendered all we have to God and we will therefore have nothing to fear losing.
This great apostle has now given us eight reasons we must love. If we love perfectly we will eliminate the fear of judgment that plagues many devout believers. We will also eliminate the fear of loss that robs many people of their peace. Are you willing to apply another motivation to love as that love is profiled in this love chapter written by the apostle who writes more of love than any other New Testament author?