I feel like I spend a lot of time dodging fights. It’s not that I don’t like confrontation…well I don’t like confrontation but that’s not the reason I tend to avoid fights. I avoid fights and arguments with a lot of people for a couple of different reasons. It doesn’t matter if my convictions are being challenged and it doesn’t matter if I can see a Jesus moment on the other side of the argument – sometimes I find myself really afraid of getting into that conversation and thinking “I can’t go there.” And I can justify it with ideas like “I’m promoting unity” or “I’m letting this pass because I love them” and I’m sure there are more scriptures about arguing and taking a brother to task but the truth is that those are very rarely the reasons why I avoid fights.
Here are some reasons why.
I like the person. This is by far the number 1 reason I don’t get into fights. I don’t like fighting with people I like and I don’t want to lose a friendship over something that is ultimately a small deal. I mean if we both love Jesus we can get along, and even if we don’t both love Jesus we can probably still get along.
I don’t want to lose relationship. Translation: I don’t want them to judge me and think I’m an idiot for believing something then ditching me by the wayside. Raise your hands if you know what I’m talking about. Oh, just me then. Ok, well growing up where friendships had to be re-established every three years means I’m pretty willing to bend for the sake of relationship or the appearance of it. I’m working on being the true to self, true to God thing but it’s a work in progress.
I don’t want to be wrong. I HATE being wrong. I absolutely will not get into a fight with someone who I know is smarter than me because I’m reasonably certain on any given day that I don’t know enough to support my opinion in the face of their three PhD’s and the multi-million dollar book deal…. Well maybe not that intense but you get the idea.
I don’t want them to yell at me. No I’m serious this is a big deal for me. When people yell at me or call me stupid or really rebuke or take me to task I feel absolutely horrible. I mean I just want to crawl into a corner and die kind of horrible. I got enough reprimanding tweets yesterday that I had to switch to facebook for a couple of hours!
In other words, I spend a lot of time biting my tongue for fear of these things. And yet I also know “The LORD did not give us a spirit of fear but of power, love, and sound mind.” So where does that leave me?
My past testimonies are as much for my own sake as they are for anyone else’s – written down so that in my own moments of weakness I can go back and remember “He did this for me then, He can do this for me now.” “He promised this then, and He’ll come through on it.”
Great follow up post by Kevin at Cowboy Campfire Ministries