|The Fear Diet There is no fear in love…
perfect love drives out fear… I John 4:18Denial. One way to escape from a conflict is to pretend that it does not exist. Or, if we cannot deny that the problem exists, we simply refuse to do what should be done to resolve a conflict properly. These responses bring only temporary relief and usually make matters worse (see Gen. 16:1-6; I Sam. 2:22-25).Flight. Another way to escape from a conflict is to run away. This may include leaving the house, ending a friendship, quitting a job, filing for divorce, or changing churches. In most cases, running away only postpones a proper solution to a problem (see Gen. 16:6-8), so flight is usually a harmful way to deal with conflict…
Taken from The Peacemaker: A Biblical Guide to Resolving Personal Conflict
by Ken Sande, Updated Edition (Grand Rapids, Baker Books, 2003) p. 23
Food for Thought
Have you ever thought about fear as an indulgence that we as Christians can’t afford? We often think of rich desserts and fine cars as indulgences, and they certainly can be. But fear is an indulgence, too–one that Christians engage in at least as much (if not far more) than Krispy Kreme donuts or Jaguar sports cars.
We indulge in fear each time we deny a conflict that exists with a friend–even though we know there is a cancer-like silence between us that Satan is probably filling with his lies. We indulge in fear when we tell others or ourselves, “I’ve had enough. I’m done with this.” While walking away looks like some kind of primitive strength, it’s really a fear “feast” that results in us putting on weight (in the form of concern and anxious thoughts).
Fear is a costly indulgence that drives much of what we do and much of what we don’t do. When fear keeps us from addressing conflict in our lives, it hinders our intimacy with Christ. We’d rather indulge in fear than delight in the love of Christ; yet, if we’d just delight in Perfect Love, scripture says that fear would flee.
Leaving fear behind is a bit like dieting. Standing at the freezer with our hand on the door and the ice cream on the other side, sometimes we just have to say aloud, “No.” Standing in a conflict feeling sorely tempted to indulge in denial and flight (both grounded in fear), we must call to mind the lavish love of Christ, drop our hands to our side, and remind ourselves that fear is one indulgence we simply cannot afford.
|Resources To Help You Respond to Conflict BiblicallyThe Young Peacemaker is a powerful system that parents and teachers can use to teach children how to prevent and resolve conflict in a constructive and biblically faithful manner. Order a Parent/Teacher Manual or Student Activity Booklets through our online bookstore or by calling our Resource line at 800-711-7118.
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