In Part 1 of my story, story I explained what my growing up years were like and how the seeds of fear and control were planted. Then in Part 2 I talked about how depression took over for a season, and how I started to find joy again. In Part 3, I had to learn how to stop being a door mat and how to confront properly. I had started to learn to be a peacemaker instead of a peacekeeper…
STAYING FREE – PEACEMAKER
One thing that has really helped me stay free from control is the wisdom inside the pages of a book recommended by my sister, Andi. It was John Bevere’s book Breaking Intimidation. It was exactly what I needed at precisely the right time. Even the subtitle of the book was perfect: “Say “NO” without feeling guilty. Be secure without the approval of man.”
At the time I read it, I honestly wondered how either one of those things were even possible for me! I had gone all my life nearly always feeling guilty for saying no, and without even knowing it, cared way more about what people around me thought than what God thought.
The message from the author at the beginning of the book spoke directly to my heart. It says:
“As I was writing this book, God spoke to me prophetically and said:
There are many called to My great End-Time army of believers who are bound by intimidation. They have pure hearts toward God and man; however, like Gideon of old, they are held captive by fear of man (Judg. 6-8). The gifts I placed in them are dormant.
I will anoint the message of this book to liberate multitudes of them. They will step out and fearlessly obey Me. They shall be valiant warriors and shall bring forth great victories in the strength of their God.”
I had never seen so clearly what was happening to me. I had been bound by intimidation. I loved God with all of my heart, but I was definitely not yet that fearless “valiant warrior” for him. I would have to keep choosing to stop listening to fear and listen to God. I would need to stop doing everything in my power to avoid confrontation which led to a false sense of security and peace. Breaking Intimidation spelled it out for me in black and white: I had become a peacekeeper instead of a peacemaker.
“A peacekeeper avoids confrontation at any cost. He will go to any length to preserve a false sense of security for himself, which he mistakes for peace.”
“A peacemaker, on the other hand, will boldly confront no matter what it may cost him because he does not worry about himself. Instead, he is motivated by his love for God and truth. Only under these conditions can true peace thrive.”
Scripture makes this even clearer. These are Jesus’ words, from the Sermon on the Mount:
Blessed (enjoying enviable happiness, spiritually prosperous-with life-joy and satisfaction in God’s favor and salvation, regardless of their outward conditions) are the makers and maintainers of peace, for they shall be called the sons of God! Matthew 5:9 AMP
I could see now that this way of surviving by peacekeeping had infiltrated every part of my life. It was exposed during my recent work situation, but now, as God’s light shown on this previously dark area of my life, I could see this control issue not only at work, but at home and church too. It would have been easy for me to blame the “controllers” in my life, but that would give me no power to change. I had to take responsibility for letting others control me. I had to take responsibility for opening this door and letting fear control me instead of love.
It was time for me to see myself the way God sees me, as a bold peacemaker! Whenever I felt fear of man try to rise up in me, I would confess this little life changing phrase: “I am a peacemaker.”
The more I renew my mind and believe this, the easier it gets for me to know when and how to confront control in my life. I also had to figure out how to be me, and still confront, especially loved ones, in my life. I didn’t want to be mean or un-Christ-like. I remember feeling like confrontation and love couldn’t go together. Then I remembered the scripture that talks about speaking the truth in love. That was it. I could do that!
Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of the body, the church. Ephesians 4:15 NLT
Also, when I looked up Ephesians 4:15, I also found great wisdom in the scripture right before this one…
Then we will no longer be immature like children. We won’t be tossed and blown about by every wind of new teaching. We will not be influenced when people try to trick us with lies so clever they sound like the truth. Ephesians 4:14 NLT
It explains that this is how we can become grown-ups, and not be tossed to and fro with various teachings or doctrines. It’s how we stand against cunning, clever and tricky people that invent lies to mislead us.
So, as I was confronting control and intimidation in my life, I would speak the truth in love, the way Jesus did, and this would in turn help keep me from being tricked or mislead by people.
The conclusion of “The Good Girl” is coming soon. To read the previous parts of my story, please see the links below.
The Good Girl – Part 1
The Good Girl – Part 2
The Good Girl – Part 3
Disclosure: Kristin Stansberry is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.