The Opposite of Love (1 John 4:7-21)
Those who trump up fear are at odds with God, whose primary action and identity is love. Preachers preach. Engineers engineer. Doctors doctor. God loves. Consequently, sowing fear against those who appear different is an act in direct opposition to God.
John says, “We love because God first loved us.” The way we typically read that passage is as an exhortation: “God loved us; therefore, we ought to also love others.”
But the older I get, the more convinced I am that it’s not an exhortation but a description: “God loved us; therefore, we are now capable of loving . . . where before we were incapable, bound up in our fear of losing our place to someone else.”