Knowing what’s behind the resistance

By Dave Henning / July 21, 2018

“Often the reason we give for not doing something is not the real reason.  Sometimes we don’t know what’s behind the resistance.”- John Ortberg

Pastor John Ortberg concludes Chapter 5 of When the Game is Over as he presents the second and third barriers to naming the rope.

2.  Sometimes we would rather complain about our ropes than untie them.  Thus, truth indicates that we prefer the status and victimhood that goes with complaining about our ropes.  As a result, friends feel obligated to give us sympathy rather than the hard truth.  In addition, if someone comes along and unties our ropes, we’re prone to tie them back up ourselves.

3.  Sometimes we hide the real ropes under excuses.  Consider The Parable of the Great Banquet (Luke 14:12-24).   When a man invited guests to a great banquet, one guest after another gave an excuse for their absence.  Their bogus excuses masked their real resistance – honoring God with their lives.

However, Jesus, the master teacher, understands the workings of human nature.  To help us identify what’s behind the resistance, John suggests the following question: “If the circumstances I’m talking about were changed, would I make a different decision?”  In other words, does any excuse suffice?

Yet, Pastor Ortberg notes, something often happens even after we’ve screwed up enough courage to untie the ropes.  Overnight, our ropes secretly tie themselves back to the ground.  Therefore, sometimes you must untie your ropes every day.

Yes, it’s necessary to name the rope.  Generally, though, you need to take a second, required step – action.  John explains:

“The particular action you choose does not have to be brilliant.  It just has to be concrete.  It has to cost you something.  What the action consists of is not as important as taking action itself.  It becomes a concrete reminder of your commitment to fly.”

Today’s question:  Do you know what’s behind your resistance?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “I am creature, not Creator”

About the author

Dave Henning

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