If you look at most news media interviews in our culture right now they often escalate into demeaning and hostile interactions. It seems that whatever issue is being discussed they are spun in certain directions according to the narrative in the mind of the interviewer (based on their experience and/or ideology).
There is a spiritual counterpart to this in life among God’s people. The narratives in the mind affect interactions with others. The good narrative (love) Paul describes in 1 Cor 13:4-7 as ” patient and kind, does not demand its own way… is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged…it expects the best.” This narrative always promotes positive interactions.
Paul describes another narrative that destroys relational life called “strongholds” (2 Corinthians 10:2-5). They are often introduced by the enemy or our flesh through interactions, misinformation, and/or offences. If that narratives is playing it will always cause a breakdown in relationships.
Here is a recent video clip that demonstrates how negative narratives prevent good interactions. A police officer responds to a call about a man selling ammunition on a street corner advertised by a home made sign (not your everyday normal behavior that is somewhat suspicious). The man obviously has a narrative playing his head (the police are bad, out to get me, and government is trying to take away my rights). It has probably been sown by his own beliefs and all the media attention over the recent police related unrest.
You will notice at 1:43 mark that he probably also has a personal offense with this police officer or others from previous encounters (“you tried to harass me before”). Notice how the narrative in his mind caused the interaction (that could have been handled easily with a little cooperation) to escalate into a more volatile interaction. The officer obviously came with a spirit of inquiry as he had to respond to the call but the stronghold in the man’s mind caused it to escalate. It is a good reminder to keep the narrative of love playing in our mind as we interact with others and “pull down” (2 Co 10:4-5) all others by the Spirit of God.
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