Recently I watched a child react to a simple request to share an idea with those who love him most. His mind shut down at the terror of sharing a simple thought that they would be judgmental. Then I was listening to a tape on children who develop anxiety disorders and it shared a series of steps that produce and worsen anxiety. I then set to pondering and understanding that we all go through these steps.
There are none that FREAKETH-NOT! It is simply a matter of you and I identifying our own powerful tool for punishing anyone who dares to try and help us grow. The FREAKING can be gentle, as in my own case. When the Lord uses scripture or circumstances or others to push me to confront someone but am sure they will freak out at me and nothing will change. Instead of obeying no matter the cost, I just go and clean house and get quiet and take care of the thing that I needed to have them take care of, and then grumble inside and detail the others faults and maybe even bellyache to someone else about the situation with no intent of doing the confronting God asks
STEPS OF PROBLEM:
- I become aware that I am a sinner as evidenced by responses to life that are sinful
- I go to God the father and ask Him to forgive me and adopt me on the basis of Jesus finished work on the cross.
- Now I am forgiven and His child, but I still have the old response patterns and the Holy Spirit begins to help me notice and reprogram my habit responses to triggers.
- This makes me uncomfortable, so I seek to avoid the people and situations the Holy Spirit arranges in His attempt to help me grow.
- He uses life and others to confront me and I drive them off by FREAKING OUT.
- They back off and I go back to pretending that I am fine, “Isn’t it all under the blood old things have passed away and everything has become new so I shouldn’t have to work with Him to change?”
- Scripture becomes useless, for ALL scripture reproves.
- Relationships become superficial or just nonexistent since all real relationships need to say,” Hey you are stepping on my toes ouch!”
- Witness vanishes because the other sees our flaws and denial and concludes that god and religion are pointless as, after all, they are better than we. ( The only witness that works is, “I am the chief of sinners and am forgiven by grace and not works and God is working on me but has a ways to go, so He could surely love and forgive and help you grow also.)
- We see our own flaws in others and tend to over criticise them (after all a good offence is the best defense right?) or else compare ourselves favorably.
Parents of anxious children are culpable in worsening the problem by arrainging their lives to avoid pushing the child to grow in order to prevent their freakouts.
By FREAK OUT, I mean choices that punish the caring confronter and push them to back off and give up. Examples I have watched in myself and others: Blow up at the begining of a contact to establish “I am the fault finder not you” and then quickly back up with the implied threat that “I can always go back to freaking out if you confront me”. Asking questions in a judgemental tone, adopting a hard expression when someone wants to discuss a situation, make sure you do even less if confronted for not doing enough and if confronted on this say ” well you told me I wasn’t doing it well, yelling and attacking the one who cares enough to voice concern, then promptly forgetting or minimizing what you did, going silent for a long time, walking out on them, quitting, badmouthing them to others, agreeing with the feedback they promptly forgetting and changing nothing, doing things as asked in such a way that they wish you hadn’t done it at all.
The freak-outer thinks that their technique has worked because everything quiets down, but this is a cause and effect world what we sow we reap. Anything else would make God a fool and he will not be made a fool of. One of the saddest verses is God gave them their request and sent leanness into their soul. Psalm 106:15
Whats’ healthy? Let scripture reproove, ask for and consider and apply and reward negative feedback. Draw towards those who care enough to confront, don’t say “thanks” and even apply the feedback and then avoid the person. Share how you have applied the advice and ask for further ideas. When confronted say: Thank you for coming to me directly; Are you saying———?; I am trying to grow and have a blind spot there; do you have any suggestions on how to grow; I will let you know how I am doing and have tried the following already; could you hold me accountable.
I think that you can clearly see that such a response would cause the world to sit up and see our Holy Spirit driven good works and conclude there must be a God and give Him his glory due.