December 26, 2023

Two Enemies of Love

Written by Shana Schutte

Two enemies of love are pride and fear.”

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – December 26, 2023

Let all that you do be done in love. 1 Corinthians 16:14

In my life, it seems that God moves in themes. Meaning, He often pounds a particular lesson into my heart until I’ve finally learned it. Lately, He’s been teaching me about love. 

I’ve been pondering how we have all been made to give and receive love, and how above all else, it’s God’s ultimate purpose for everyone. We have been created to love God and love others. (Matthew 22:36-40)

I’ve also been considering why so many people feel lonely and unloved. Other than the challenges technology creates that researchers believe keep us disconnected from one another, there are two big roadblocks to love: pride and fear.

Tragically, it’s impossible to receive the love you long for—or give the love others need—when either are your companions. 

You cannot experience love if you’re operating out of fear.  Fear will prevent you from opening your heart.  It will cause you to become overly self-protective—and self-protective hearts can’t love. Fear will cause you to doubt yourself and your ability to love. It will make you believe the lies that you can’t be yourself with others, that you aren’t good enough to be loved, or that you need to earn love. 

If you’re desperate for love, and you believe the lies that you aren’t worthy of love, fear will lead you to give too much of yourself in relationships, to lack boundaries, or it will cause you to shut down your heart. Fear is a love robber. 

Pride will also keep you from experiencing love.  Pride can be rooted in a feeling of superiority, of believing you’re better than others, that others are incompetent or stupid. 

Pride can also be rooted in a sense of insecurity and shame.  Meaning, I may act superior because I am so filled with self-hatred that I can’t stand the thought of facing my shortcomings, so I cover them up with pride.  If I really struggle with insecurity and shame, making friends with pride is a lot easier than admitting I need to change–and this will deeply affect my ability to give and receive love. For others to love us, they need to feel emotionally safe, and pride is the enemy of emotional safety. 

If I pick others apart by having a critical spirit, I can protect myself from becoming emotionally vulnerable. I can hold everyone “at a distance” so they don’t see my shortcomings. I can shut them out before they have a chance to get close to me. 

When pride is rooted in superiority, it’s all about me. When pride is rooted in insecurity and shame it’s still all about me. Pride is the enemy of love and it’s a repellent to others. 

Both fear and pride block love because love is others-centered; pride and fear cause us to be self-centered. To give and receive love we need to become selfless and others focused. 

To love others means laying self-protection, that can manifest in both fear and pride, aside. This can happen when we know we are loved as we are and that we are safe in the Savior’s arms. We can fully love because we are fully loved—and nothing can take that away. 

“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment.  The one who fears is not made perfect in love.  We love because He first loved us” (1 John 4:18-19).


Lord, please help me to love others from a position of knowing that no matter what happens in my human relationships, I am safe in your love. Nothing can take that away. Thank you, Lord.


Are fear or pride keeping you from loving others or receiving love? Get out a journal or piece of paper and honestly record your feelings. Then talk with God about what you wrote.

Related Reading

Romans 5:8; 1 John 4:7-8; Proverbs 10:12

Worship Resource

Christy Nockels: Grace Flows Down


If you are blessed by these daily devotionals please prayerfully consider a donation to support Wisdom Hunters Resources. We are trusting the Lord for His provision.

Learn how to help.

Download our app!


Recent Posts