'Be anxious for nothing..." ~Philippians 4:6

Thursday, September 15, 2016


Your childhood narrative is powerful. Even into adulthood, when you witness others brazenly getting away with what you were never allowed to do or say, something happens inside. You remember the look from someone in authority that warned, "Don't you dare. I wish you would". You remember thinking with offense and defense, "But I wasn't...I didn't...I wouldn't even think about it!", while also wondering, "Why is it okay for them? Why do they get a pass? Why do you allow it? Didn't you tell me not to be that way? I couldn't do it there. Why do you allow them to do it here? Why do you say nothing as they mock and ignore the very rules you set? The insensitivity, rudeness, nastiness, uncleanliness, disregard, selfishness, forwardness, inconsideration, divisiveness, nosiness---why it it okay?" 
And then you learn: It's okay because it's what is expected of them. Hope for change is low. They don't know any better. They've always been that way. The way they behave, however, is not what's expected of you. You are supposed to be, and do better. They haven't been welcomed annoyances just for the heck of it. They have been necessary examples of what not to be and do. They have been teachers, showing you the end results of a lives impacted by broken dreams, untapped potential, poor choices, secrets, lies, inconsistency, hypocrisy, jealousy, bitterness, envy and dysfunction.

Silence and flight are responses. They're going to talk about you anyway, so you might as well speak up and stay put, right? Not necessarily. Why get your hands dirty? Why risk sending words into the atmosphere that you most certainly mean, but can't take back? You are fully aware of the weight and destructive power of your words. You know that although others may dare you to speak; although their actions are designed to provoke you to lash out, they have NO idea how much they DON'T want to hear what you have to say. People who were raised to be seen and not heard, know a lot. They know too much. Their observation, hearing and listening skills are keen. They have scathing dissertations, sermons, and indictments inside that are brimming with truths. Those truths that others aren't even aware that you know about, have never been shared, just stored. You know the damage it would cause if you ever spoke the fullness of your mind. You were taught to be polite. Those truths live behind a smile. 
The abrasive and abusive people in your life have no idea how fragile the nerve is upon which they tap. Perhaps they've tapped on it ever since you were a child. As an adult, they don't realize that you are now the oscillating fan that's set to high speed. If they throw it your way one more time, the potential for them to be covered from head to toe with layer upon layer of their own shit is great. And then you learn: You don't have to resort to the behavior of those who offend you. Not doing so only makes them hate you more. They're going to find ever-increasing ways to annoy you, and that's unfortunate, but you don't have to get into the mud. So don't.

People know full well when they're being imposing, impolite, and inconsiderate. Some do it on purpose, hoping you'll say something; itching for a fight; waiting for you to lash out so they can utter a dumbfounded, sarcastic, "What's wrong with you?", or "You're supposed to be a Christian!" Why do people who expect you to put up with their crap always say that? It's their go-to phrase! They say it like it's your Kryptonite; "You're supposed to be a Christian" translates, "Lie down, punk, so I can continue to walk all over you." It's funny. That "Christian" comment is easily lobbed your way, but never in the direction of those whose words and behavior have so negatively impacted you, perhaps for your whole life--and then you learn: They're not followers of Christ. They just pretend to be. Of course they don't follow Christ! They just brush up on theory so they can use it against other people. These are the people sent to test your faith and resolve. These are the walking fires you have to get through. These are the testers who will facilitate your refinement. It may feel like it when they are underfoot, but you will not be consumed.

Why engage those who you have already discerned are not the least bit interested in your well-being? Evil doesn't want to change. It's been having too much fun at the expense of good, but it doesn't see how it is destroying itself in the process. 
Refusing to engage; surrendering the difficult people in your life to God, are the best ways to proceed. Sometimes a "This too, shall pass" attitude is highly appropriate. The Miss Hillys in our lives WILL eventually get tired of being hateful and provocative. They, like trouble, won't last always. 
You learn: Peace and harmony are wonderful things.

No comments:

Post a Comment