When We Make Decisions That Are Based on Fear ….

When we make decisions that are based on fear what happens? #Fear #treidation #isolation #Finger #Pointing and #Polarization happens. What else happens? We take over the steering wheel of the ship of our lives, our communities, our states, nations, and God is literally told to “stay in heaven” because we have got this! Then the ship will enter the storms of leadership, governorship, diplomacy, and God will sit back and watch as we disintegrate. David faced fear and made a decision based on faith, not emotions.

Saul learned that lesson.

1 Samuel 13  (NKJV): Saul’s Unlawful Sacrifice

1 Saul [a]reigned one year; and when he had reigned two years over Israel, Saul chose for himself three thousand men of Israel. Two thousand were with Saul in Michmash and in the mountains of Bethel, and a thousand were with Jonathan in Gibeah of Benjamin. The rest of the people he sent away, every man to his tent. And Jonathan attacked the garrison of the Philistines that was in Geba, and the Philistines heard of it. Then Saul blew the trumpet throughout all the land, saying, “Let the Hebrews hear!” Now all Israel heard it said that Saul had attacked a garrison of the Philistines, and that Israel had also become [b]an abomination to the Philistines. And the people were called together to Saul at Gilgal. Then the Philistines gathered together to fight with Israel, [c]thirty thousand chariots and six thousand horsemen, and people as the sand which is on the seashore in multitude. And they came up and encamped in Michmash, to the east of Beth Aven. When the men of Israel saw that they were in danger (for the people were distressed), then the people hid in caves, in thickets, in rocks, in holes, and in pits. And some of the Hebrews crossed over the Jordan to the land of Gad and Gilead. As for Saul, he was still in Gilgal, and all the people followed him trembling. Then he waited seven days, according to the time set by Samuel. But Samuel did not come to Gilgal; and the people were scattered from him.So Saul said, “Bring a burnt offering and peace offerings here to me.” And he offered the burnt offering. (Saul was not willing to wait for God to act. So, he came to his own decision to take the leadership out of God’s hands and then proceeded to make what HE wanted to happen by applealing to the religious persons in the group.) “Then he waited seven days, according to the time set by Samuel. But Samuel did not come to Gilgal; and the people were scattered from him.” (If the people had stayed put he would NOT have taken on the role that God designated to the prophet. But because Saul feared that he would lose his populatiry contest and the support of the people – he became the decision maker for Israel’s spiritual well-being.)

We can allow fear to tule us or we can trust God to handle the situation for us. Paul tried to tell that to the captain of the ship. But he had not religious faith, grace, purpose, or belief system to support Paul’s statement. Just read the story below. While you are reading the story can you visualize a situation in your life when you were faced with the same odds. What was  your decision? How did that work for you?

Acts 27:27-28:5 (NIV) : The Shipwreck

27 On the fourteenth night we were still being driven across the Adriatic[a]Sea, when about midnight the sailors sensed they were approaching land. 28 They took soundings and found that the water was a hundred and twenty feet[b] deep. A short time later they took soundings again and found it was ninety feet[c] deep. 29 Fearing that we would be dashed against the rocks, they dropped four anchors from the stern and prayed for daylight. 30 In an attempt to escape from the ship, the sailors let the lifeboat down into the sea, pretending they were going to lower some anchors from the bow. 31 Then Paul said to the centurion and the soldiers, “Unless these men stay with the ship, you cannot be saved.”32 So the soldiers cut the ropes that held the lifeboat and let it drift away. 33 Just before dawn Paul urged them all to eat. “For the last fourteen days,” he said, “you have been in constant suspense and have gone without food—you haven’t eaten anything. 34 Now I urge you to take some food. You need it to survive. Not one of you will lose a single hair from his head.” 35 After he said this, he took some bread and gave thanks to God in front of them all. Then he broke it and began to eat.36 They were all encouraged and ate some food themselves. 37 Altogether there were 276 of us on board. 38 When they had eaten as much as they wanted, they lightened the ship by throwing the grain into the sea. 39 When daylight came, they did not recognize the land, but they saw a bay with a sandy beach, where they decided to run the ship aground if they could. 40 Cutting loose the anchors, they left them in the sea and at the same time untied the ropes that held the rudders. Then they hoisted the foresail to the wind and made for the beach. 41 But the ship struck a sandbar and ran aground. The bow stuck fast and would not move, and the stern was broken to pieces by the pounding of the surf. 42 The soldiers planned to kill the prisoners to prevent any of them from swimming away and escaping. 43 But the centurion wanted to spare Paul’s life and kept them from carrying out their plan. He ordered those who could swim to jump overboard first and get to land. 44 The rest were to get there on planks or on other pieces of the ship. [ The end result?] In this way everyone reached land safely.

FOUR COMMUNICATION BARRIERS AND HOW TO SPOT THEM By Drs. Les and Leslie Parrott

Silence is a powerful communicator. Whenever we see a marriage that is slowly disintegrating, it’s usually followed by the couple concluding “they can’t communicate” or “they don’t talk anymore.” These couples believe that their non-talking is a lack of communication. When in fact it’s the opposite. When you don’t talk, silence sends a surplus of negative messages. Silence is powerful in its own way.

Silence is not the cause of poor communication – the fear of pain is. It’s human nature to seek pleasure and avoid pain. The truth is people actually avoid pain first, then seek pleasure. And under painful circumstances communication goes awry and silence can set in.

There are four styles of miscommunication that result when a person feels threatened. Placating, Blaming, Computing and Distracting. By understanding these styles and recognizing when they occur, you can ease your tension (or your partner’s) and get to the root of the cause before your communication breaks down and the silence sets in.

1. PLACATING

The placater is a “yes” person. This person is eager to please and apologetic. You’ll frequently hear placaters say things like: “Whatever you want!” or “Don’t worry about me, it’s ok.” They want to keep the peace at any price, including feeling worthless.

Studies show that placaters have difficulties expressing anger and hold so many feelings in they often become depressed. As a placater, you should remind yourself that it is ok to disagree! If your spouse if a placater, try to recognize these actions so you can help them express their feelings when they are holding back.

2. BLAMING

The blamer is a fault finder who criticizes relentlessly and speaks in generalizations. You’ll often hear blamers saying things such as “You never do anything right!” or “You’re just like your mother.” Deep inside, blamers usually feel unworthy or unlovable and can get angry at the anticipation that they won’t get what they want. Blamers tend to find that the best defense is a good defense.

If you (or your spouse) are a blamer try to recognize when you feel the need to be defensive. You likely fear dealing with expression or pain – try to let this go. Once you recognize these behaviors, learn to speak on your own behalf, without indicting others in the process.

3. COMPUTING

The computer is a reasonable, calm and collected person. This person usually never admits mistakes and expects people to conform and perform. You’ll often hear the computer saying: “Upset? I’m not upset. Why do you think I am upset?” Computers fear emotion and prefer facts and stats.

If you or your spouse often find yourself computing, then it’s time to open up the communication doors and express your real feelings. Computers need someone to ask them how they feel about certain things. If you recognize this trait in your spouse, having an intentional conversation with them may help.

4. DISTRACTING

The distracter resorts to irrelevancies under stress and avoids direct eye contact and direct answers. Distracters are also quick to change the subject. You’ll often hear them saying something along the lines of: “What problem? Let’s go shopping.” Distracters fear fighting, and confrontation can bring this on.

The solution? Distracters need to know they are safe, not helpless. Problems can be solved and conflicts can be resolved. Encourage yourself (or your spouse) to confront problems head-on with productive conversation, rather than burying them.

The next time you find yourself communicating with your partner by placating, blaming, computing or distracting, remember that this is likely the result of feeling stressed or hurt about something. And vice versa, if you find your partner has resulted to one of these methods, ease their tension by being sensitive and trying to get to the root of the issue.

By opening up the communication walls before they completely close, you will be well on your way to a solid and productive conversation.

How do you and your partner communicate? Have you hit any barriers you’ve needed to overcome? We’d love to hear from you!

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