Love Casts Out Fear
|During our Spiritual Life program|
For the last nine years I have had the opportunity to speak in Planning 10 classes. This week I spoke to approximately 250 grade ten students at Mountain Secondary School. It took me 3 days to get through all of them with each presentation taking about an hour. It is some of the hardest but most rewarding work I do.
I always tell the students I’m not interested in telling them what choices to make but rather in helping them understand why they might be making choices that don’t fit with their own convictions. A significant part of my presentation is making it safe enough for students to anonymously share their struggles with the rest of the class. It usually boils down to fear and insecurity:
“I’m afraid my boyfriend will break up with me if I don’t…”
“I’m afraid of disappointing my parents so I…”
“I’m afraid my friends won’t like me if…”
Because fear’s greatest weapon is secrecy and isolation, it can be incredibly powerful to speak your fear out loud for others to hear and even more powerful to learn you’re not alone. I pretty much lead them through 1 John 4:18; “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear”. I finish the class by telling them that even though I do not know them, I love them and I believe in the them. I see hope and potential in them. I pretty much say I love you over and over. As I’m saying those words I’m praying on the inside that God would love them today through me and that his perfect love would cast out their fear.
I never really know what impact those words have but I do get glimpses. It’s the kid wiping tears from their eyes. The one who stays behind after the bell to chat. The one who shows up to our programs the next week. The teacher who thanks me because my words impacted them too.
Thanks for giving me the time to give to these students. I am excited to continue the conversations with them as I bump into them in the hallway.