“For the Holy Spirit, God’s gift, does not want you to be afraid of people, but to be wise and strong, and to love them and enjoy being with them.” 2 Timothy 1:7 (LB)
When Adam and Eve sinned and God came looking for Adam, Adam said, “I was afraid … and I hid.” (Genesis 3:10 ESV) This fear is as old as mankind. We hide our true selves. We don’t let people know what we’re really like. Why? Because we think, “What if I tell you who I am and you don’t like me?”
Fear does three terrible things to relationships:
Our fears make us defensive. We’re afraid to reveal ourselves. When people point out weaknesses, we retaliate and defend ourselves.
Our fears keep us distant. We don’t let people get close to us. We want to withdraw and hide our emotions. We don’t want to be open and honest.
Our fears make us demanding. The more insecure we are, the more we try to control or dominate things. We try to have the last word in a relationship. This is always a symptom of fear and insecurity.
Where do you get the courage for taking the first step in resolving conflict? It comes from God’s Spirit in your life: “For the Holy Spirit, God’s gift, does not want you to be afraid of people but to be wise and strong [courageous] and to love them and enjoy being with them” (2 Timothy 1:7 LB).
The starting point in connecting with anyone is to pause and pray, “God, help me to take the first step toward resolving this conflict.”
Rick Warren is the founding pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., one of America's largest and most influential churches. Rick is author of the New York Times bestseller The Purpose Driven Life. His book, The Purpose Driven Church, was named one of the 100 Christian books that changed the 20th century. He is also founder of Pastors.com, a global Internet community for pastors
This devotional © 2012 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.