Relationships – Chapter 19

Escapism – Part 2


Ephesians 4:15-16 “Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.”


In dealing with escapism a question does come to mind: Why do we try to avoid anything unpleasant, like a broken relationship rather than dealing with it in a real biblical way?


There are probably many reasons for this. One reason might be that we do not want to suffer dealing with the unpleasantness. However, there are a few other reasons that I would like to highlight.


One reason we try to escape is ‘guilt.’ At the core of most problems are feelings of guilt because of unrepented sin. Like Paul Tournier said: “All are weak because all are afraid, they are all afraid of being trampled underfoot. They are all afraid of their inner weaknesses being found out. They all have secret faults. They all have a bad conscience on account of certain acts which they would like to keep covered up. They are afraid of other men, of God, of life and death. What distinguishes men from one another is not their inner nature, but the way in which they react to this common distress.”


We begin to set up emotional barriers against facing facts and facing people and then become restless in looking for ways to escape. The truth of our guilt needs expression and this is where fellowship in depth comes in. We often find ourselves running from the cure.


Another reason that we try to escape is the fear of rejection. Again Paul Tournier helps us to understand this fear. “All men are afraid and all long to be assured. The university degrees they take, the successes, the esteem they seek and cultivate by means of honorable behavior, the courage they show, the nerve with which they defend their views, their tenacity in demonstrating that they are always right, the respect they claim from those weaker than themselves, the witticisms they come out with – all of this is armor to cover up their weaknesses.” Dr. Meader says: “The only things that hinder people from talking openly is the fear of being condemned.”


In all of this we are afraid of what people might think or see in us. What this does is it leads us to pretend. We pretend all is well, or we pretend that no problem exists or worse of all we pretend to be somebody else.


Thirdly, there is a fear to face reality. In previouschapters I had mentioned that man’s basic needs are to love, to be loved and a feeling of selfworth. If these needs are not being met then we will do some strange things. We see this with teen-agers around their peers doing some real weird stuff.


This is a real danger that we are faced with today. Many people cannot take the truth, to see things as they really are, not what they think it should be or what they would like it to be, but what it really is. There is a real fear of havingto face reality.


One of our daily prayers should be asking the Lord to lead us into spiritual reality. To be a real person is what is needed. To be real to what is around us, our circumstances, the people we have daily contact with, and ourselves to be real with God.


Might God lead us all in daily reality.

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