One of the key ways of killing fear of man in us (besides getting to Know God more intimately) is to need people less and love people more. (If you've never thought about what fear of man is or how to deal with it, check out When People Are Big and God Is Small to get a giant does of pushback against self-esteem and codependency. To 'need people less and love people more' is one of Ed Welch's key application points in that book.) I love Welch (and all the other CCEF guys) because they get at the heart. Where they sometimes fall a bit short in their book-type resources is in the practical help--what does that look like. What does it mean to really love people more?
I was reading in a book tonight in thinking about some intense marriage counseling situations I'm involved with, and came across something profound that starts moving in the practical direction of how to love others (specifically for men--how to love our wives).
I have often thought that love is the opposite of hate. What Lou Priolo says in his book, The Complete Husband, is very probing: "To the extent that love is a noun, 'hate' is a good antithetical construct for it. But to the extent that love is a verb, it's probably more accurate to identify its antonym as selfishness. ... taking is the opposite of giving. Giving ... is at the heart of love. Love is giving. Selfishness is taking. 'Am I a giver or a taker?' That is the question you must ask yourself..."