Don’t Let Fear Keep You from Deepening Friendships
By Rick Warren
“For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline” (2 Timothy 1:7 TLB).
When we’re full of fear and anxiety, we don’t get close to each other. We back off from each other. We’re afraid of being rejected, manipulated, vulnerable, hurt, or used. All of these fears cause us to disconnect in life.
This fear is as old as humanity. When Adam and Eve sinned, and God came looking for them, Adam said, “I was afraid, and I hid.” People have been doing that ever since then. We’re afraid, so we hide. We hide our true selves.
We don’t let people know what we’re really like. We don’t let them see inside of us. Why? Because if we let people know what we’re like and they don’t like it, we’re up a creek without a paddle. Tough luck. Why am I afraid to tell you who I am? Because if I tell you who I am, and you don’t like me, I'm in for it. I have no alternative. So we wear masks, and we pretend.
Fear does three terrible things to relationships:
Where do you get the courage to take the first step in connecting with someone and going into a deeper intimacy? Where do you get that courage?
You get it from God’s Spirit in your life. Paul tells us in 2 Timothy 1:7, “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” (TLB).
You know you’re filled with God’s Spirit when 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.
So the starting point in connecting with anybody is to pause, pray, and say, “God, give me the courage to take the first step.” You need to do that now with a person you want to connect with.
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God wants you to have awesome relationships!
When people see a healthy, love-filled, life-giving relationship, they take notice. Because they’re so different from the relationships that are all around us.
But meaningful relationships are not automatic or easy—which is why we want to send you Pastor Rick Warren’s Awesome Relationships study kit as thanks for your gift below.
In this study kit you’ll receive Pastor Rick’s Awesome Relationships teaching series on DVD plus a study guide. Together, they create an interactive resource that will help you take your relationships beyond fair, average, and even great—all the way to awesome!
You’ll get the tools to:
• Experience a more rewarding marriage
• Grow closer with your family
• Build friendships that stand the test of time
• Become best friends with God
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This devotional © 2018 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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