A lot is made about things like “faith over fear” or “faith greater than fear,” but a Christlike ethic is not defined by such a dichotomy.
The way, truth, and life as expressed, and lived out, by Christ and the apostles centered around faith expressing itself through love as the only thing that counts (Gal 5:6). Faith expressing itself through love:
- lowers itself and puts the needs of others first (Gal 5:6, Phil 2:3, and many more);
- gives respect and honor to those in authority (Rom 13, 1 Peter 2, and more);
- surrenders ones rights for the sake of others (1 Cor 8-9 and more);
Most importantly, a Christlike ethic is centered around, and grounded deeply in, love of God and neighbor (Luke 12:30-31, 1 John 2:6, 1 Cor 16:13-14, and many, many, many more). All of these things, and more, are what is meant by carrying ones cross, washing people’s feet, and living a self-sacrificial lifestyle. (Luke 9:24, Matt 16:24-26, John 13, and more).
“What does love require of me?” is a question we need to ask ourselves constantly.
It is interesting that so many Christian’s seem to demean others by calling them sheep. Jesus taught that sheep know the voice of their shepherd. If we recognize the voice of our Shepherd then we, as sheep, will follow that voice….we will live that kind of life…and grow in Christlikeness as we move through life.
The “do what is right in my own eyes” philosophy was the primary condemning attribute of the “bad” kings of Israel and, it seems clear, is an anti-Christlike mode of operation. It is NOT a Christlike way of living, because it:
- exalts self and puts the need of other secondary, at best;
- demands ones rights over and above the welfare of others;
- resists the uncomfortableness of the cross and the wash basin;
Faith over Fear is not the fulcrum of our decision making. Love is.
Faith expressed through love, makes us free to love others without fear, because love drives out fear, allowing us the freedom to love openly, unapologetically, and without limit.