Teach Us to Pray, by Charles Fillmore, , at sacred-texts.com
IT IS THE unanimous verdict of students of the mind that fear is a paralyzer of mental action; also that fear weakens both mind and body. This being so universally conceded, it certainly is not worth while to call attention to that enfeebling state of mind but rather, on the other hand, to show how to keep from falling into its shadows and also how to overcome its habits. The majority of people will resent the statement that fear is a habit, but close observation proves to anyone that his fears are governed by repeated thoughts, words, and experiences. All fears rest upon thoughts, and if the thought foundation can be broken up the fear will vanish.
The mind imagines mountains of fears where no
real cause for fear exists. We live in a world where fear is taught as essential to safety. To begin with, we are told from infancy to "fear" God; then to fear evil in all its forms. With our mind crammed with fear images working night and day, how can we expect anything but the multitude of disasters that follow?
"Perfect love casteth out fear." Jesus taught love of God as the first commandment and love of neighbor as the second; there was no need for any other commandments. These two round out the law. Then the one and only effective remedy for fear and its ills is love.
We have all been told again and again that we must love God and our fellow man in order to fulfill the law of our being. Doubtless most of us have done this and have had the experience of very pronounced demonstrations of peace and protection in our life, yet we do not have that consciousness of love which we feel we should have when we think of God. There must be a reason for this deficiency, and there is. We have thought of love to God in terms of something of immense size, something that we must encompass as a whole, when the fact is that love is a composite. It is made up of attributes, as is made clear by Paul in I Corinthians.
According to Paul, love is the name of a great variety of little commonplace activities of everyday life. Are you patient and kind? "Love suffereth long, and is kind." Envious? "Love envieth not." Egotistical and proud? "Love vaunteth not itself, is
not puffed up." Are you temperamental? Love "doth not behave itself unseemly." Are you grasping and selfish? Love "seeketh not its own." Do you give way easily to your temper? Love "is not provoked." Do you behold evil as real and agonize over the evils of the world? Love "taketh not account of evil." Do you rejoice when disaster overtakes evil persons and exclaim, "They got just what was coming to them"? "Love . . . rejoiceth not in unrighteousness, but rejoiceth with the truth." Do you patiently bear "the whips and scorns of time"? "Love . . . beareth all things." Are you open-minded and receptive to good, whatever its source? "Love . . . believeth all things." Do you anticipate the future with fear and forebodings? "Love . . . hopeth all things." Do you endure with trust and confidence in eternal justice
Love "endureth all things." Paul says: "If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And if I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing . . . . But now abideth faith, hope, love, these three: and the greatest of these is love."
Nowhere in all literature do we find as clear an
analysis of love as here in this 13th chapter of I Corinthians. Those who have taken it as a guide to character discipline--that is, seeking to fashion their daily thinking by the standards set forth--have attained results so pronounced that they have been convinced of its being a panacea for all who are suffering from the ravages of distorted, Godless love.
The one and only remedy for the crosscurrents of fear is the restoration of the peace and harmony of life by love and its combinations.