Anxious relationships

I came across an article the other day authored by Peter Steinke, noted church counselor. In light of the demonstrations following inauguration of President Donald Trump, it may be of interest. Mr Steinke’s comments regard the relationship of members of Christian Church congregations, but they speak to all situations as you will see.

“All relationship systems become anxious. Anxiety is free-floating. Anxiety is an alarm mechanism. It alerts us to potential danger. Anxiety magnifies differences. It provokes change. It prods and pushes us toward innovation or transformation.

“If anxiety reaches a certain intensity however, it prevents the very change it provokes. It interferes with our ability to think clearly. We lose our head or cool, as we say. We become reactive instead of reesponsive.

“Two types of anxiety may be distinguished; each leads to differing result. Anxiety may be acute or it may be chronic.

“Acute anxiety is crisis-generated; it is situational or time-based. We are suddenly irritated or jolted by some event. In the church family, acute anxiety may come when we have budgetary difficulties, a loss of a pastor, a building program, an influx of new members, or other significant change.

“Chronic anxiety is habitual; it’s always there; even the slightest change or trivial annoyance incites reactive behavior. The automatic alarm system of our mind — meant to be temporary — becomes perfunctory. Chronically-anxious people keep their focus on others. They are easily and quickly hurt. They see themselves as victims.

“Someone has anxiety if it is acute. Someone is their anxiety if it is chronic. Acutely anxious people regain their perspective; they can control their reactions. Chronically anxious people reduce everything to all or nothing; lines are drawn; they blame and falsely criticize; governed by instinct rather than insight, they cannot be stopped by reasoning or appeasement. With the chronically anxious, the contentious issue is not the basis of their reactions. Even if the issue changes, their chimes are still ringing. They keep adding emotional fuel to the fire.”

Not a pretty picture. And we saw it nationally in the wake of President Trump’s inauguration. We likely can identify its presence in every day experiences of life here on the Peninsula, and in our church families.

We are a sinful and rebellious people to be sure. Thank God He forgives us all our many sins, in spite of ourselves, for Jesus’ sake. May we hear His word of forgiveness and pray for a change of heart and mind in all things as we walk the road of life.

Noel D. Koss is interim minister of Star of the North Lutheran Church, 216 N Forest Dr, Kenai. 907-283-4153.

More in Life

This photo of Frenchy with a freshly killed black bear was taken on the Kenai Peninsula in the early 1900s. (Photo courtesy of the Viani Family Collection)
Unraveling the story of Frenchy, Part 1

The stories were full of high adventure — whaling, mining, polar bear hunting, extensive travel, and the accumulation of wealth

Seeing God’s hand in this grand and glorious creation

The same God of creation is the God that made me and you with the same thoughtfulness of design, purpose and intention

Chewy and sweet the macaroons are done in 30 minutes flat. (Tressa Dale/Peninsula Clarion)
Sophisticated, simplified

When macarons are too complicated, make these delicious, simple macaroons

Michael S. Lockett / capital city weekly
Gigi Monroe welcomes guests to Glitz at Centennial Hall, a major annual drag event celebrated every Pride Month, on June 18.
Packed houses, back to back: GLITZ a roaring success

Sold-out sets and heavy-hitting headliners

Michael Armstrong / Homer News 
Music lovers dance to Nervis Rex at the KBBI Concert on the Lawn on July 28, 2012, at Karen Hornaday Park in Homer.
Concert on the Lawn returns

COTL line up includes The English Bay Band, a group that played in 1980

Marcia and Mary Alice Grainge pose in 1980 with a pair of caribou antlers they found in 1972. The sisters dug the antlers from deep snow and detached them from a dead caribou. (Photo provided by Marcia Grainge King)
Fortune and misfortune on the Kenai — Part 2

In Kasilof, and on Kachemak Bay, in Seldovia and later in Unga, Petersen worked various jobs before being appointed deputy marshal in 1934

“Glimmer of Hope: How Tragedy Sparked a Movement” was published in 2018 by Razorbill and Dutton, imprints of Penguin Random House LLC. (Image via
Off the Shelf: The power of personal voice

“A Glimmer of Hope: How Tragedy Sparked a Movement” provides first-person accounts of the school shooting in Parkland, Florida

Most Read