The culture of avoidance……Yup, I am going there.  When something has been on my heart and mind for a few weeks, and God prompts me to speak, it’s go time!  {Mind you, I am looking at my mug that says “Success is Obedience” as I type this.  This isn’t an easy topic to broach, but I feel it needs to be said.  So, here goes.}

When did our culture become one of avoidance?  I mean really.  When and where and why and how did this culture come to be?  Where does the idea come from that if we don’t like something, or someone, or what they are saying to us that we can just avoid them?  If it’s uncomfortable, we will not deal with it?  And no, I am not talking about being buried under satan’s yoke, {busy}, I am talking about intentionally avoiding situations, or quite frankly people that we don’t want to, or “feel like” dealing with.  {Busy is a whole ‘nother topic!}

I got a message from someone recently who apologized for not writing back because they “felt bad” about the choice they made concerning something we had been talking about for quite some time.  So, because this person felt bad about their choice, they avoided telling me about it.  I understand, I have been there, done that, bought the t-shirt.  I was the queen of avoiding things, which is probably why this is important to me.  If someone called and I didn’t want to talk, I would let it go to voicemail and not call back.  Got a message I don’t feel like replying to?  I didn’t.  See, I get it.

What has struck me lately, though, is when has avoiding a situation ever made it better?  We could also say when has lying made a situation better?  It seems to me when we are uncomfortable or have done something we feel bad/shame/guilt/whatever about, we either lie to cover up what we have done, or we just avoid it.  But, how does that solve anything?  If anything, it creates a culture of distrust, possibly hurt and bad feelings.  Would you trust someone who lied to you?  Ignored you?  Is that honoring the other person?

From someone who has been the queen of avoidance and is now on the other side, my heart is to tell you that avoiding and/or lying about it only makes it worse.  We can’t avoid situations, or people and expect them to go away. That just isn’t how it works.  We have to address it.  Is it that we don’t know HOW to address it, or we are too caught up in how we feel {which is really, selfishness, right?} to just be upfront, honest and deal with it head on?   This is something I really have a hard time understanding.

When we look at it in the context of the Word, it is even more hard to understand.

* “Love your neighbor as yourself,” ~ Mark 12:31
* “Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves,” ~ Romans 12:10
* “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets,” ~ Matthew 7:12
* “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves,” ~ Philippians 2:3
* ” In everything set them an example by doing what is good.” ~ Titus 2:7
* ” Show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God, honor the emperor.” ~ 1 Peter 2:17

Love, honor one another, do to others as you would have them do to you, do nothing out of selfish ambition, do what is good, show proper respect for everyone.  Is it just me or does avoidance not fit in with those words mentioned above?

Please share your thoughts on this as well, friends!  I would love to hear what you think about this topic.  Thank you!

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