Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Why Do They Do That?

Just this weekend I've been doing some soul searching regarding why some people can be "friends" for a while, and then turn on you and become cruel, mocking your prayer requests and attacking your reputation (some call it character assassination). I've just heard of at least 3 others who have recently gone through very similar problems. This isn't just a church problem, it is a universal problem.

With many of these situations, I decided God did not want me to get defensive. That truth would prevail. I know God doesn't want me to run away from conflict, but yet I also know He doesn't expect me to continue to expose myself to abuse. I do not need to "take it" when it comes to the doses of toxic "Christianity." It is similar to small doses of arsenic, which, when accumulated, can poison the recipient.

Why would others treat me this way? Maybe it is one of these reasons:

• they don't understand
• they're jealous
• they are hiding their own faults
• they aren't praying for me
• they assume the wrong things
• they are afraid the same trial I'm going through will happen to them
• they are unempathetic/unsympathetic
• they are hardened
• they are not in the Word
• they lack the fruit of the Spirit
• they are hurting, and we know that hurt people hurt people

Thinking through all of this helps me know how to better pray for the ones who have caused this hurt. And praying for them helps my pain diminish, as I continue to forgive them for their continued attacks.

I try to be transparent, but it leaves me feeling "naked" and vulnerable. Then I'm open for the pot shots. But I don't know how to wear a mask--they are too suffocating, I only know how to be me.

I'm working tons of hours, have wonderful Christian fellowship with some faithful friends, and can fill my time with other things that God has for me. So for me, I choose to move on. How did I get to this place? By evaluating why others would be this way, and how God would have me to act in return.

Bullies only bully those they can pick on. Once they see they can't rattle you, they move on too.

All of this heart-searching has caused me to be more conscientious of how my own words, actions, and attitudes might hurt others. E-mails can be particularly stinging because there is no body language or voice inflection to help read between the lines. I would rather remain silent than say something that could be misinterpreted. I know I've not been perfect when it comes to my part in relationships, but I hope because of my own experiences I will be more cautious not to hurt others.

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