I do not come from a family of communicators. And I think I may be the worst of the bunch. Growing up I learned to avoid conflict, as it seemed every time someone pushed the issue, things got worse as it wasn’t handled well. So why bring it up?

The problem with avoidance is it seems like it works as things don’t blow up. But it doesn’t work because nothing is fixed. And it works even less for the Christian as there is little opportunity to express love in silence. Right now I’m struggling between overcoming my tendency of avoidance and the belief that if I get involved things will just get worse.

The thing is my idea that getting involved will only make things worse seems pretty reasonable. I don’t know what I’m doing, so how could I help? This thought has two problems. The first goes back to yesterday, and stepping out in faith. I can think about the problem and solutions all I want, but until I resolve to act, there is little opportunity for my faith to be exercised. Sure I can think I have faith, expecting God to just work things out without me, but faith without works is dead (James 2.20). How can I say I believe God will solve the problem if I think working to solve the problem will make it worse? I can’t!

The second problem is what my belief says about my perceptions of others. Though I don’t know how to solve the problem by bringing it up, is it reasonable to assume my stumbling words of exhortation will have such a dramatic and negative effect? It is not. So if I’m not the cause of drama then it must mean I think the other person will react badly no matter what. But this itself is irrational. If I look at the individual I do not see them as such a volatile person that my fears would justified.

Somehow, I must have this idea of a volatile person who will become hostile when exhorted, and I am viewing everyone through this lens. This view unequivocally bad as it keeps me from treating my brothers and sisters with Christian love. It must be gotten rid of, and I must be willing to act by faith that it is a false view, trusting in Christ to guide me.

p.s. An update from yesterday. Today while handing out fliers I had much more success. I was able to engage people about the series, and spark an interest before I gave them a flier.


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November 2008
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