What Motivates Our Relationships?

What motivates us in how we relate to others?

It’s not a complicated question and there are really only two answers. I am either motivated by fear or by love. In every single relationship. In every interaction. Fear or love.

1 John 4:18 (ESV)
18There 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.

My every attitude, action, reaction and response is either about self protection or risking connection.

Matthew 16:25 (ESV)
25For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.

The process of discipleship as a Jesus follower is a process of abandoning fear and surrendering to love. We begin with receiving God’s love for us, experientially learning to be safe in his love. Flowing from this authentic place of safety, we grow in our capacity to risk connection with others, refusing to blame, control or manipulate, refusing to be anything other than our authentic selves, refusing to require others to be anything other than their authentic selves, and refusing to allow false versions of self and immaturity to counterfeit the real.


About the Author:

Alan Smith is the Senior Leader of Catch the Fire DFW, an incredible community in the Dallas/Fort Worth area that launched Spring 2014. Alan and Nancy married in 1994 and have three brilliant and beautiful children. Alan formerly served as Pastor of Freedom Ministry at Gateway Church in Southlake, TX. He enjoys the Dallas Cowboys, good books, writing, speaking, jazz, live music, traveling, coffee, and time with close friends. Not necessarily in that order.