Stop Running―Use Your God-given Authority
by Tiffany Buckner
If you asked a group of Christians what the most overused term was for 2019, you’d likely hear them say:
But honestly, these terms aren’t overused, they’re often misused. How so? The average person who refers to another human being as a “Jezebel” has never cast out a demon or seen one cast out of a person. He or she simply heard someone else referencing a woman with questionable character as a Jezebel or a Delilah, and that person adopted that term and added it into his or her vocabulary. And every time that person had an encounter with a woman that he or she didn’t know how to identify with―a woman who didn’t necessarily make that person feel welcomed, accepted or even desired, the person may have brandished that term in his or her attempt to summarize the encounter.
Understand this: we all have memory and we know this, but what most people don’t know is that we store information and experiences into certain mental folders. Each folder has a label on it. If we have a negative experience with a person, we’ll often place that person’s face, along with our memory of him or her into a folder that we’ve mentally labeled “Enemies.” We will also place them in a folder labeled “Bad Encounters” or “Embarrassing Moments.” But this doesn’t close the file; instead, we have to determine why that person is an enemy and we have to place judgment on that person before we have peace with closing the folder. This is simply how the human mind works. If we don’t do this, we’ll talk about the person for days, weeks or even months in our attempts to figure out what we’ve just experienced. None of us want to give another human being this type of power over our minds, so to close the folder, we implement the use of what we call “labels.” It’s not enough for the human mind or the Christian to just write someone off as an enemy; we need to know why that person cannot and does not fit into our lives. This is especially true when we see people we love and/or respect happily embracing the very people we’ve had negative encounters with.
Labels. These are the words, terms or phrases that we use to, in a way, close a case. Many believers may come across a woman who is rude and decide to place the “Jezebel” sticker on her folder in their minds. By doing so, they have peace with the idea of distancing themselves from that woman. As a matter of fact, depending on what their understanding of the word Jezebel is, this label may even set off one of the protective mechanisms in the brain. For example, let’s create two characters: Jane and Joyce. Jane has learned a lot about the Jezebel spirit, but she has never cast out a demon and her church doesn’t engage in the ministry of deliverance. Nevertheless, as a Christian, she’s heard the term, watched videos of people going through deliverance and she’s listened to countless stories about people having encounters with Jezebellic folks. All of these stories were from people who had been traumatized by their encounters with what the world calls the overt or the covert narcissist or what the church calls the Jezebel spirit, and all of their stories have been about the horrible things they’ve suffered at the hands of such people. This means that Jane’s understanding of the word “Jezebel” is closely associated with the word “danger.” So, anytime Jane hears the word “Jezebel,” her fight-or-flight system is activated. First and foremost, what is the fight-or-flight system or, better yet, the fight-or-flight response?
Encyclopedia Britannica defines the term “fight-or-flight response” this way: “response to an acute threat to survival that is marked by physical changes, including nervous and endocrine changes, that prepare a human or an animal to react or to retreat. The functions of this response were first described in the early 1900s by American neurologist and physiologist Walter Bradford Cannon. When a threat is perceived, the sympathetic nerve fibres of the autonomic nervous system are activated. This leads to the release of certain hormones from the endocrine system. In physiological terms, a major action of these hormones is to initiate a rapid, generalized response. This response may be triggered by a fall in blood pressure or by pain, physical injury, abrupt emotional upset, or decreased blood glucose levels (hypoglycemia). The fight-or-flight response is characterized by an increased heart rate (tachycardia), anxiety, increased perspiration, tremour, and increased blood glucose concentrations (due to glycogenolysis, or breakdown of liver glycogen). These actions occur in concert with other neural or hormonal responses to stress, such as increases in corticotropin and cortisol secretion, and they are observed in some humans and animals affected by chronic stress, which causes long-term stimulation of the fight-or-flight response.”
Now, we can understand why Jane overreacts when she hears the word “Jezebel.” She’s filed this term in her “Danger” folder.