We Teach Others How To Treat Us
#13 IN MY CHAPTER-BY-CHAPTER JOURNEY THROUGH ROBERT MCGEE’S BEST-SELLING BOOK, THE SEARCH FOR SIGNIFICANCE.
As we learn to relate appropriately with those who have hurt or injured us in some way, we will begin to develop a healthy sense of assertiveness — an important component in shaping other people’s behavior toward us. For example, if others are rude but never realized it because we passively accept their behavior in an attempt to avoid upsetting them, at least two things usually happen. We develop contempt toward them, and they never learn to come to terms with their negative impact on others. They then miss an important opportunity to change, and we effectually prolong the hurtful behavior.
There are appropriate and inappropriate ways of communicating our sense of anger or resentment to others. But those feelings need to be spoken, for their benefit and for ours. We also need to remember that learning how to express our feelings appropriately is a process. We can’t expect to respond perfectly to everyone. It takes time to express years of repressed pain. It also takes time to learn how to respond firmly and clearly. Be patient with yourself. We a have a choice in our response to failure: We can condemn or we can learn.
Failed, But Not A Failure
All of us fail. But that doesn’t mean that we are failures. We need to understand that failing can be a step toward maturity, not a permanent blot on our self-esteem. Like children first learning to walk, we all stumble and fall. And just like children, we can pick ourselves up and begin again. We don’t have to allow failure to prevent us from being used by God.
If we have trusted Christ for our salvation, God has forgiven us and wants us to experience His forgiveness on a daily basis. Moses was a murderer, but God forgave him and used him to deliver Israel from Egypt. David was an adulterer and murderer, but God forgave him and made him a great king. Peter denied the Lord, but God forgave him, and Peter became the leader of the church. God rejoices when His children learn to accept His forgiveness, pick themselves up, and walk after they have stumbled. But we must also learn to forgive ourselves. Rather than viewing our weaknesses, a threat to our self-esteem, it’s God’s desire that they compel us to move forward in our relationships with Him.
“Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”Hebrews 4:14-16
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