One of my friends and mentors, Penny Doss, is full of wisdom. I like to draw from that wisdom as often as possible. We recently engaged in a conversation about difficult relationships. We can see people as either dangerous or hurting. And, often times, we see them as dangerous, because we feel they do not respond in ways that are Christ-like. We feel they are a danger to our self-esteem, our emotional health, or our other relationships. And, while we know in our gut that the person is wounded, we still find it difficult to see them that way.
So, we either consciously or subconsciously, see them as dangerous. A threat. And, we enter a dangerous cycle.
Whenever we view that person as dangerous, we create an environment where that person will view us the exact same way: dangerous. And, a vicious cycle ensues. You see them as dangerous, so they see you as dangerous.
You are key in breaking this cycle. Sometimes, those people we view as dangerous will say things that hurt us. We view their actions as vindictive and ugly. And, we want to respond to them likewise. The first thing you need to do in breaking the cycle is realize that the person isn’t telling you who you are. But, rather, he is showing you who he is. Only God can tell you who you are. So, let that principle go deep into your heart.
So, now what do you do with your hurt? Your urge to respond to them in a way that is consistent with their behavior? Take it to God. Tell Him every time you are struggling. Tell Him how you want to respond likewise, and ask Him to take it from you. Keep giving it to Him. Then, one day, you will realize it is His for good. And, the dangerous cycle is broken.
And, that person no longer has power over you. You will choose to love and forgive instead. As a matter of fact, you will see that person as hurting. And, you will begin to see that person the way Christ does.
You will be free. And, full of more love and forgiveness than you thought possible.
And, your life will be abundantly blessed!
Thank you, Penny Doss, for imitating Christ for me time and time again.