WHAT'S UP REAL MEN!!!

Manipulation

What’s up guys!?!  I am excited to share with you this morning a powerful portion of scripture,

 “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear.  For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.  We love because he first loved us.”- 1 John 4:18-19

There are so many truths packed into these two verses.  The first phrase alone is both illuminating and convicting.  “There is no fear in love.”  Real love is absent of fear, and does not produce fear.

My brother and I both love movies.  There are many movies we could sit together and discuss, debate, and reflect on for literally days.  One thing this passage of the Bible reminds me of is one of the classic ‘guy movie’ franchises, The Godfather, and The Godfather Part II, (I am not recommending them for those who are trying to keep their eyes from seeing evil.)  Based on the mafia, these movies seem to tell a ‘rise to the top’ story, and demonstrate power, control, and a complete victory over every opponent.  However, the Godfather, along with its sequel, also shows how words of love and affection are used to thinly veil control and manipulation, and how this manipulation spreads fear and paranoia, ultimately tearing a family apart.

The Godfather uses language like ‘part of the family’, and ‘friendship’, but in reality the hero is using favors, debts and blackmail to control people.  Even the logo of the movie is a hand holding the strings of a marionette.  He represents a puppet-master.  The mafia isn’t doing things out of friendship or love, but out of leverage.  They are trying to hold markers on people, to get them in their debt.  They control people through fear.  

As men, we can’t be fooled by manipulation’s promise of power or control as a way to feel secure.  It actually works in reverse, producing fear in others, and paranoia in ourselves.   Likewise, we must resist other people’s manipulation with sincere love.  As we spend time with Jesus, we understand His love and His power.  His love casts out our fear, and it enables us to love others and cast out the fear that is attacking the people around us.  We shouldn’t submit to fear, and shouldn’t try to use fear, either.  Let’s fight the fear around us with the Spirit of God. The Holy Spirit is not a spirit of fear, but of POWER, LOVE, and a SOUND MIND!

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