Thursday, March 13, 2014

Believing the Worst About People

Recently I wrote about the importance of trust in relationships.  When we, for whatever reason, refuse to trust someone, it breaks down everything in the relationship.  And when we trust them, it heals many wounds.  This of course is does not ignore the reality of people who consistently act in untrustworthy ways, but, to repair the relationship with someone who has previously been untrustworthy will be found in a process of rebuilding trust...together. 

It is fairly typical for kids to develop a bit of antagonistic relationship with their parents.  Ever raised a middle school girl?......  We are just beginning that stage with our 4 year old.  And boy are those arguments fun.....He is constantly convinced that we are out to get him and be "bullys".  And what pray tell leads to this conclusion....?  Last night he kicked his little sister, which meant a timeout in his room.  His response, you aren't being fair, you just want to be a bully!!!!! 

Is he insane????

No, he is not.  He is human.  We don't like being told what to do.  When push comes to shove we often want to dig our heels in and stubbornly refuse to face our issues.  My son actually admitted that what he did(kicking his sister) was wrong, but there was a logical disconnect to his behavior and my response to it.  

Isn't that crazy?  He knows what he did was wrong, he feels bad about it, but the person who is giving him consequences for the behavior is clearly out to get him.....

Believing the worst about a person and their motivations and actions is quite easy for us to do.  It is generally our response in relation to someone disagreeing with us on some issue. 



About sin.

About work.

If someone doesn't agree with our decision or behavior our go to response is to be frustrated with them and their incorrect views.  And, if they disagree with us, there must be something wrong with THEM!!

But it gets worse.

When their disagreement with us, or, when they call us out, is actually rooted in truth, we protect ourselves by demonizing that person.  We begin to REALLY believe the worst about them.  Their is no willingness to acknowledge the real issues in our own heart and lives, we are too scared to face our own demons, so we decide that the person confronting us IS the demon. 

My son could recognize that what he was doing was wrong, but he didn't want to face it, or, change it, so he decided that the problem was just that daddy just liked being an unfair bully.  Instead of dealing with his issue, it became all about daddy's "bullying" problem.  "Sure sure sure, I kicked my sister...BUT YOU'RE THE BULLY!!!"  Complete logical disconnect.

Matthew 9
32 While they were going out, a man who was demon-possessed and could not talk was brought to Jesus. 33 And when the demon was driven out, the man who had been mute spoke. The crowd was amazed and said, “Nothing like this has ever been seen in Israel.”
34 But the Pharisees said, “It is by the prince of demons that he drives out demons.”


Jesus just did an amazing miracle.  He confronted a demon, cast it out, miraculously healed a suffering man.  Did the Pharisees say, "Hey awesome, thanks Jesus"  No.  They decided that Jesus must just be an agent of satan. 

Talk about believing the worst about someone.

Jesus was never unfair or mean just to be mean to the Pharisees.  Everything he said, and pointed out, was absolutely true.  He showed grace, patience and love even when he would call them out.  And now, right in front of them He is showing with great power that He is one with the authority to say and do the things that He has done and said.

But it is easier to just think Jesus was some sort of satan worshipper.

When we are forced to come face to face with our own sin, we all too often demonize those who are the ones who caused us to face them.  The process of facing and dealing with sin is known as Sanctification.  And sanctification can be painful.  It means repentance, change of heart and behavior.  It means giving up selfishness and running to the cross.  Painful and hard work is scary.  It is easier to just be mad at the person who makes us face it.  We get bitter, resentful, standoffish. 

Are there some people ou there who are just straight up jerks who are trying to push your buttons and make you feel bad?  Of course.  But be honest with yourself.  Are their people in your life that you believe the worst about because of what they make you have to face about yourself. 

And here is the thing.  Whether or not you face it, its your problem, not theirs.  You can act like they are a bad person all you want, but it doesn't fix what you need to fix.  And if they are still standing there with you, the probably love you enough to keep standing by you.

My son needs to stop hitting and kicking his sister.  He can be mad at me all day long for me calling him out, but I love him enough to tell him, "What you did was wrong, we are going to deal with it!"  Let yourself be loved like that.

I just like this picture and concept of T-Rex trust falls

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