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Fear and Love

posted: August 2nd, 2012 by Kelly VE

It's hard to bring your heart to a world that can break it
To offer love to those you're afraid will forsake it
But a well-defended heart is always looking for a fight
In a lonely war against an endless night
But love can bring a light - "Fear is Easy, Love is Hard" by Jason Gray

Jason Gray’s forward lyrics paint an accurate picture of the thoughts and feelings brought on by living in a world overcome with fear. We fear sickness, death, heartache, joblessness, agendas, judgments, loss of freedom, and the list goes on. I know what I’m afraid of, but I hadn’t really taken the time to think about where the fear emotion comes from and how destructive it can be until I listened to A Way to See in the Dark straight through. It stretched my mind in many different areas including the topic of fear. A short while later I got to hear Jason's story behind the song "Fear is Easy, Love is Hard":


"We’re in an election year and we will over and over hear people as they campaign using fear and fear language to get people to vote for them. This is what we as human being do, even without knowing them, we can use fear to get people to do what we want. A part of what inspired that song was realizing how much this happens in the church too. They’re using fear language to get the response that they’re hoping for.

We heard a Christian radio station using fear language as they were talking about the issue of homosexuality as a “threat” to family values – speaking about a “liberal agenda” and speaking about it in a way to insight fear in people, “We have to rally the troops, we have to do something about this or else.” If we perceive a group of people as a threat or an enemy, would Jesus tell us to fear them? No, he tells us to love our enemies, right? If we’re going to do that then we’re going to have to change the way that we talk about these issues, and if we don’t we are in danger of using the same tool that hell uses, fear. 

Fear does not bring the aroma of Christ, instead it is one of the great destroyers on earth. It robs us of our peace, our health, our joy – it robs us of our future and distorts the way we see each other. And unfortunately it’s the easiest thing in the world to do; it’s so easy to be afraid.

It has the power to destroy the most intimate of relationships. Marriages die because we become so afraid of pain, afraid of disappointment, and then we do disappointment management by withdrawing our hearts from the relationship because we’re afraid of being hurt – and that is death. To come alive, to be alive we have to love. That doesn’t just mean tolerance; tolerance is easy, just avoiding conflict. We have to figure this out, figure out how to love."


The way Jason talks about fear made me look at the emotion with new perspective. I have always been labeled by my family as fearless or as a dare-devil, but when I reflect on "Fear is Easy, Love is Hard" I see that I AM a fearful person - relationally. Fear language has a lot of control over me and I hear it a lot from people close to me; I've also noticed myself using it with my husband and kids. So I have a new challenge before me that appears unconquerable: to let go of my fear and eliminate fear language that creeps into my conversations. Because …

It comes down to a simple choice
Shouting devils or a still small voice
One is spreading fear and dread
Oh but love has always said
Do not be afraid
Do not be afraid
Do not be afraid
Do not be afraid



Kelly Van Engen has never eaten an ice cream cone and is currently the program assistant for UTR.



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