Fight, Flight, or Freeze
by Christian Thomas Golden
It is a generally accepted thought that one’s response to threat be either fight or flight (or, as someone recently proposed to me, freeze). Only one of these can be motivated out of love: fight.
How can fight (that uncomfortable, confrontational thing) be motivated out of love? Well, let’s say that one day you go to church. As you begin greeting your fellow brothers and sisters, you notice several little nasty things about these people. You begin to think, “boy, this is really hindering my relationship with God.” After some time you decide it would be best to find a church which better promotes your relationship with God. So you begin your search for the perfect church.
What’s wrong with that? I’m only trying to get closer to God. I only want to enhance my relationship with God. That old church was a hindrance. God would want me to find a better house of worship. Let that old church decay in it’s hypocrisy and other nasty things. It’s time for me to move on so I can grow.
Only, just because it’s frustrating learning to walk, doesn’t mean you should go out in search of a magic carpet. Sometimes there’s something in your environment that hinders your learning to walk (nails, crumbs, toys, walls, tables, other people). Sometimes you are an obstacle yourself (thoughts, feelings, assumptions). How you decide to react to such obstacles is indicative of your faith.
If you perceive obstacles as opportunities to exercise and grow your faith, that is a fight motivated out of love. If, on the other hand, you view those obstacles as evil nasty little things that must be avoided/bypassed in favor of that comfortable feel-good spiritual life of bliss, that is flight motivated out of fear (lack of faith). Still more, if you merely sit back and wait for this uncomfortable season to pass, you freeze out of fear (lack of faith).
The horrific beauty of deception is this: it is a state of prideful ignorance. What’s more: it requires of the victim that he be ignorant of being ignorant of being prideful. One might even be ignorant of being prideful of being prideful when they think they are merely being enthusiastically humble. Follow? Just imagine how hard it would be to discern this from within! Maybe you are within! Maybe I am!