Three Things Fear Does to Relationships
If you want to connect with someone, you’ve got to be willing to take the first step. This often takes courage. Why? Because it’s fear that disconnects human beings. When we’re full of fear and anxiety, we don’t get close to each other. In fact, we back off. We’re afraid of being rejected, manipulated, vulnerable, hurt, used. All of these fears cause us to be disconnected in life.
This fear is as old as mankind. When Adam and Eve sinned and God came looking for Adam, Adam said, “I was afraid, and I hid.” People have been doing that ever since. We’re afraid, so we hide. We hide our true selves. We don’t let people know what we’re really like, because if we do and they don’t like us, we face rejection. And so we pretend.
Fear does three terrible things to relationships:
- Fear makes us defensive. When people point out weaknesses, we retaliate and defend ourselves.
- Fear keeps us distant. We don’t let people get close to us. We withdraw. We hide our emotions.
- Fear makes us demanding. The more insecure we are, the more we try to control things. We try to have the last word in a relationship. We try to dominate.
So where do you get the courage to take the first step to connect with someone and go into a deeper level of intimacy?
You get it from God’s Spirit in your life. The Bible says, “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 TLB).
How do you know when you’re filled with God’s Spirit? You’re more courageous in your relationships. You love people. You enjoy being with them. You’re not afraid of them, because God’s Spirit is in your life. The Bible says “God is love” and “Love casts out all fear.” The more of God you have in your life, the less fear you’re going to have in your life.
Talk It Over
- With whom do you need to go deeper in your relationship? Pray, and ask God for the courage to take the first step toward growth with that person today.
- In your relationships, what is some more evidence of the Holy Spirit in your life?
- How can you get more of God in your life? What is one practical step you can take today?
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This devotional © 2016 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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