There is one thing from the seminar last week that really stuck with me, and that is how important fear is to understanding relationships. The primary speaker had a motto: Chase the Fear.
He was driving at a truth I have heard before. Significant emotions, like anger, are rooted in fear. By realizing and understanding this, we can then look for the root cause behind the anger in front of us. There is something that the person is afraid of. What is that? What is it that a person is afraid of that they lash out at others? Maybe it is a fear of loss. Maybe it is a fear of lack of control. Who knows. But, likely, there is something there that the person is afraid of. Understanding this may help us get to the root of problems between people.
Of course, it is much easier to analyze someone else’s fear, isn’t it? My problem is that I have fears of my own. These aren’t so enjoyable to face. Let me put it to you this way. We all have trouble with someone; if not now, then soon. Might my fear be part of that? Even if the other person is all messed up and acting like a jerk, might my own fear be getting in the way and making things worse than they could be?
You’ll have to answer that for yourself; but for me, I think it does. When I understand that I have a particular underlying fear, I can deal with that first before I make a judgment on the other person’s behavior. Am I putting up a wall or am I facing a problem with confidence? My reaction might be very understandable considering I have my protective barrier in front of me. However, if I didn’t need that wall, might I be able to be more effective in dealing with another person’s?
Obviously, the answer is yes.
A couple passages come to mind. The first deals with my own mindset. The second concerns who I am actually dealing with. The third focuses my eyes on my real strength.
2 Corinthians 10:3-6 For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, being ready to punish every disobedience, when your obedience is complete.
Ephesians 6:10-13 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.
1 Samuel 17:42-47 And when the Philistine looked and saw David, he disdained him, for he was but a youth, ruddy and handsome in appearance. And the Philistine said to David, “Am I a dog, that you come to me with sticks?” And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. The Philistine said to David, “Come to me, and I will give your flesh to the birds of the air and to the beasts of the field.” Then David said to the Philistine, “You come to me with a sword and with a spear and with a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defiled. This day the Lord will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you down and cut off your head. And I will give the dead bodies of the host of the Philistines this day to the birds of the air and to the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel, and that all this assembly may know that the Lord saves not with sword and spear. For the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give you into our hand.”
So, we have nothing to fear. We have no reason to build up walls or defenses against others. Our problems are with the spiritual world. Knowing that, and relying on the Lord to fight our battles, we may be confident. Why? To find out what the other person fears so that we may have compassion.
That makes sense to me.
Father, I pray the words you gave to Peter:
1 Peter 5:6-11 Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion seeking someone to devour. Resist him firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen.
Copyright © 2018 Scott Powers