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Reform Magazine | June 27, 2019

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Commitment-Phobe: I speak out

Commitment-Phobe: I speak out

I am learning to speak out and disagree well

Last month I was talking about needing to see more grace, in myself and in others. This month I have had the joy of seeing relationships with fellow Christians radically shift, in a way that I had not experienced before.

In my small group Bible study, we have been working through Philip Yancey’s book What’s So Amazing About Grace? The first chapter sets out an ethical dilemma involving the true story of a woman confessing to selling her baby girl into prostitution to buy drugs. The confession elicited a visceral reaction from almost all of us.

My first thoughts were of violent acts of vigilantism and I wasn’t the only one. I was not present for the group discussion, so I missed the fallout as a result of our first argument about grace, but two people have taken a break from our group for a while. One had spoken about compassion for any individual who is lost enough to commit such an act and wanted to know the causes of this situation. The other – who is suspicious of church folk and finds it hard to accept a loving God – felt this response was tantamount to agreeing to child abuse. Both felt unsafe and judged, but when I talked to them and to other members of the group to understand what had happened, and pray into it, it seemed there had been no huge ruckus.

Growing up, even as they test the boundaries, many people learn to hold back from expressing their truth in family arguments, afraid of being rejected or hurting others’ feelings. You may lose control and have that held over you. So you may stay aloof, holding your thoughts and feelings to yourself, waiting only to share with a select and trusted few. Others get brasher, fighting to win a point. In both cases, they don’t learn to disagree well and love each other regardless. Joining a Christian family, we need to unlearn these traits…

Commitment-Phobe is a Christian

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This is an extract from an article that was published in the March 2019 edition of  Reform

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