Posts Tagged ‘fear’

Many of us embrace our first perception of others’ words to us and react to our emotions that rise in that moment as if they thoroughly encapsulate the intent and essence of the other individual. In my life, cooperating with that often fuels an unnecessary and unconscious escalation of tension and misunderstanding, not to mention missing any benefit from the interaction.

But the Holy Spirit is teaching me a different way.

Beyond listening, he is reining in my pace and my self-centeredness, revealing and displacing my idol of efficiency, and showing me how to guard my heart even from my own assumptions. It’s just too easy – and gratifying to my flesh – to paint others’ words with my own shame, guilt, and unmet need, leading to inexplicable behavior on my part and wounding of the person I’m responding to. Assumptions are powerful, aggressive sirens concealing the sharp rocks of hurt like sweet fog, and the world and my flesh encourage me to just grab that initial interpretation without pausing to ask God. Waiting for truth and God’s perspective and insight to coalesce from the expression of another person just as disoriented as I; recognizing wisdom and godliness and relationship require time; letting love reign over impatience and fear; that is the way of Christ.

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These scriptures are blowing my mind this week (please stop here and go read them – really):

2 Timothy 2:22 – 3:5
John 14:1
Matthew 5:43-45
1 John 2:9-11

Fear is a weapon of the enemy, and I must not let it not rule over me through disappointment or shock or panic.  Hatred is also a weapon of the enemy, and I must not be lured into joining forces with it because of disagreement with others and through my internal agreement to be offended by them.  Both are so hard to resist!  And honestly, I don’t always want to.  Sometimes, I’d rather lash out, follow the world’s model and mock others or get payback.

After I’ve grown spiritually nauseous from gulping down helpings of the world’s behavior, I repent and open myself to God. I can feel the burden of all of this, never fitted to my shoulders in the first place, rising.  My trust is severed from my own strength, my will, my mind and my interpretation. My hope decouples from the behavior of others, world events, politics, comfort, economies, wealth, poverty, validation and outcomes.  The sensation is familiar and yet still powerful, like meeting a dear friend after years apart.  And I realize, “This is life”.

The relief unleashes two things I immediately recognize and relish:  God’s perspective becoming mine, and rediscovery of his gifts to me, like my family, friends, light through a leaf, even my next breath.  I am reminded of the truth of real life and real love, and as I surrender, my trust is reoriented back to Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit.  My hope is again filled with the fresh air of God’s proven, invincible love for me and his unalterable promises to me.

He is dispelling the dark fog that Satan has been using to cloud my heart.  I find I’m gradually able to see beyond the insecurity and resentment rising in front of me, like heat waves from pavement, attempting to distort the path to the hearts of others.  Trusting God and with my hope anchored in him, I can walk right through the distortion and give his love.  Because, again, this is not about me; it’s all about him.

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