The Dangers of Passivity

by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio


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Hello and Happy Day! This is Dr. MaryAnn Diorio, Novelist and Life Coach, welcoming you to another episode of Winning with the Word. Today is Monday, August 3, 2020. Today’s Podcast is Episode #31 in Series 2020 and is titled “The Dangers of Passivity.”


God hates passivity.  But the devil loves it.

What is passivity?

Passivity is the trait of holding back and letting someone else act in a given circumstance. Passive people avoid resistance and confrontation and give in to external influences. 

Noted Bible teacher Francis Frangipane calls passivity “Satan’s secret weapon,” a tool to render Christ-Followers ineffective. As Frangipane further notes, “There is no room for a passive spirit in God’s army.” 

There are times when passivity is warranted among Christ-followers, such as in submitting to God. But there are many more times when passivity is unwarranted and harmful both to the passive Christian and to the Body of Christ. 

We are living in times in which passivity on the part of righteous people is causing the destruction of our nation. Demonic forces are taking down our country while far too many Christ-followers are sitting back and just watching. 

Jesus warned us of what would happen in the last days. But He also commanded His Church to occupy until He comes. With what are we to occupy ourselves? We are to occupy ourselves with preaching the Gospel.

But why is it that so many Christians are failing to preach the Gospel? Why is it that so many Christ-followers are simply allowing the enemy to encroach upon the Church? Why are they being passive?

Here are some insights on passivity:

1) Passivity is a learned behavior.  It has psychological roots in rejection, abandonment, and fear.  Passive people are often self-centered rather than other-centered. They are afraid of speaking out because they are afraid of being rejected. Sadly, many Christ-followers fall into this category. 

2) Passive people do not see themselves as passive. They will often object to accusations of passivity, replying that they work very hard and make many sacrifices in their families or ministries. While this may be true, it is an out-of-balance perspective.  Provision has many facets to it, and one facet is also bold leadership. 

3) Passive people see themselves as victims, not as victors. This is contrary to what God says about us. Scripture tells us that we are more than conquerors through Christ Who loved us. This perspective is not the perspective of a passive person.

The opposite of passivity is boldness. While passivity holds back, boldness pushes ahead. While passivity refuses to get involved and take action, boldness jumps at the opportunity to get involved and to take action. 

Interestingly, Scripture rarely requires passivity but most often it requires boldness. In order to obey God’s commands, we are often required to get out of our comfort zones and to speak out. For example, it is impossible to obey the Great Commission while being passive.

In his excellent book, THE SPIRITUAL MAN, Watchman Nee writes this about passivity: “God has not called us to be passive. He has called us to fight. We are engaged in a spiritual battle of intense proportions, and we cannot–we must not–be passive in that battle. Otherwise, we will be sorely defeated.”

If you have been suffering from passivity, repent and ask the Lord to deliver you from this curse. If you are not yet a Christ-follower, become one now by praying this simple prayer:

Lord Jesus, I have been passive instead of active in my relationship with You and with others. I have been more concerned about being rejected than about fighting for what is right. Please forgive me and change me. I receive You now as my Savior and Lord. Thank You for making me into the person You created me to be. In Your Name I pray. Amen.

If you prayed this simple prayer, please write to me at I would like to send you a little booklet that will help you get started in your walk with Christ. I also encourage you to get yourself a Bible and read it every single day. The Bible is God’s love letter to you, His manual for your life. In the Bible, God reveals Who He is, and He instructs you how to live.

Finally, ask the Lord to lead you to the church of His choice for you where you can learn about Him and have fellowship and encouragement with other Christ-Followers.

For those of you who may not know, I write fiction about many of the issues I deal with in this blog and podcast.  I encourage you to visit my website bookstore at . There you will find a complete list of my fiction for both adults and children.

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Thank you so much for listening. This is Dr. MaryAnn Diorio, novelist and life coach, reminding you that God loves you just as you are and just where you are, and that He will help you to keep on Winning with the Word.

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Now it’s your turn: Are you prepared for the return of Christ? If no, are you willing to get prepared? Please leave your comment in the Comment Box below. Thank you!

PLEASE TWEET: “Are You Majoring in the Minors?” by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio (CLICK TO TWEET)

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by Dr. MaryAnn Diorio, Your Virtual Life Coach

Guard your heart above all else,
for it determines the course of your life.” ~ Proverbs 4: 23

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Do you hate confrontation? Are you one of those people who gets uptight when there is the slightest indication of anger, upset, or instability in the status quo?

If so, you are not alone!

But while you may not be alone, you may be in trouble!

Why? Because confrontation is essential to growth. Without it, we will remain imprisoned in unhealthful relationship patterns. We will not experience the abundant life Jesus died to give us. In fact, we will not fulfill our God-given destiny.

Consider the caterpillar. Without confrontation–i.e., confronting the cocoon–the caterpillar would never turn into a butterfly.

Consider also the chick in the egg. Without confrontation–i.e., pushing against the eggshell to escape its confines–the chick would never emerge to live out its destiny as a chicken.

And consider the human being. Without confrontation–i.e., pushing through the obstacles that hinder healthful relationships and God’s plan for our lives–we would never grow into the truthful and loving people God created us to be.

No, it’s not confrontation that is the problem. It is the manner in which we handle confrontation.

“It’s not confrontation that is the problem. It’s the manner 
in which we handle confrontation.” ~ Dr. MaryAnn Diorio

Most people are afraid of confrontation because they have seen it mishandled. Many have been deeply hurt by confrontation, whether emotionally, physically, or both. Perhaps, like me, you are one of them.

For example, shouting, throwing things, or inflicting physical or emotional pain is not the proper way to handle confrontation. This kind of behavior is what has given confrontation its bad name.

But, on the other side of the coin, the failure to confront–especially on the part of a leader–has resulted in the destruction of families, organizations, and churches. When a leader fails to confront sin, he is tacitly allowing it to continue. There is no middle ground. 

Also, when a leader fails to confront sin, he is giving in to the fear of man. Whenever we fear man more than we fear God, we are in big trouble!

So, what is the proper way to handle confrontation?

First, let’s consider what confrontation really is. Confrontation is “speaking the truth in love.” This concept comes directly from the Bible. Let’s take a look at Ephesians 4: 15: “Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ . . . .”

What do you notice about this verse? Let’s dissect it together:

1–We are instructed to speak the truth.

2–We are instructed to speak the truth in love; i.e., with a desire to help the person we are confronting.

3–When we speak the truth in love, we will grow more and more like Christ.

Speaking the truth in love–aka “confrontation”– causes growth, both in the speaker and in the listener.

When David sinned with Bathsheba, he brought much suffering and harm to his family. God commissioned the prophet Nathan to confront David about his sin. Nathan obeyed the Lord, resulting in David’s repentance.

Do you think Nathan felt like confronting King David? I doubt it. Nor do we always feel like confronting sin in the lives of those we love or those whom God has placed under our authority. But confront we must if we truly love them.

Truth without love will result in alienation. Love without truth will result in damnation. This is what is happening in many of our churches today. Pastors are preaching a love message without combining it with a truth message. When only one half of the equation is applied, the math won’t work. We will get a wrong answer every time.

And so it is with confrontation. We must confront, but we must always confront in both love and truth.

By the same token, the person who is being confronted must receive the message with a teachable spirit, which is a spirit imbued with humility. As king, David could have angrily dismissed Nathan and his message. Instead, David humbled himself before God and before Nathan and received Nathan’s correction from the Lord. As a result, David repented and, in so doing, did not forfeit his salvation.

Confrontation has eternal consequences. If we allow sin to continue, it will grow. When we confront, we are showing that person great love and concern for his eternal destiny. If we truly love someone, how, then, can we not confront him?

Now, it’s YOUR turn: Do you have trouble confronting sin in the lives of those in your circle of influence? After reading this blog post, do you now see confrontation in a different light? Please leave your valuable comments in the fields below. Thanks! 

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Copyright 2017 by MaryAnn Diorio, PhD, MFA.  All Rights Reserved.

Sources cited:

“The Danger of Compromise” by Greg Laurie

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Matters of the Heart is a weekly blog that deals with the deepest issues of the human heart, the issues we all face but sometimes don’t want to talk about. The heart is the programming center of our lives. What is programmed into our heart will affect every area of our lives. Learn how to discover what is in your heart and how to program your heart for success.

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