If you’ve ever attended a Christian wedding chances are high that you’ve heard a reading of 1 Corinthians 13: 4-7:
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.”
The author, Paul does a great job giving readers a checklist of love’s characteristics. This scripture always comes to mind whenever I come across selfless people; people that are patient, kind, show no envy, nor proudfully boast. This passage’s description of the fruits of love endured in my consciousness allowing me to identify love—which is the author’s intent in the first place.
Standing on Paul’s shoulders and piggy-backing off his style, I wish to recreate this passage focusing on fear. Properly identifying fear’s characteristics allows us to strip the elements of fear from our decision-making and overall consciousness.
Fear is impatient, fear is harsh. Fear is not understanding, fear does not promote others, fear is not humble. Fear is not polite, it is glory seeking, fear is easily angered, it keeps a record of wrongs. Fear does not delight in truth but rejoices in evil. Fear deconstructs, it inflames and inflates and gives up. Fear always fails.
Seeing the world through a lens of fear-laden or fear-free cause-and-effect helps discover the true source of conflict, contention, and procrastination. Knowing the source of conflict is the first step in solving the root causes of conflict and misunderstanding.
If a co-worker becomes defensive or combative, try interpreting their actions through the fear lens—what is the co-working seeking to protect? What is making this person feel exposed or vulnerable?
Fear-based motives are usually obvious, and if we concentrate on solving the source of fear we can solve problems and not waste time managing symptoms of fear.