The One Where I Should "Be the Change..."

 One of my favorite episodes of Friends is the one where Phoebe and Rachel decide to start running and Rachel is embarrassed by the way Phoebe runs. Instead of talking to Phoebe about it (or just getting over it) she talks to all the other "Friends" and makes up excuses to give Phoebe for why she didn't go jogging with her. Phoebe eventually realizes there's something wrong and confronts Rachel and Rachel admits the problem and everyone has a little growing experience.

Passive aggressiveness and unhealthy relationships used to be a way of life for me. This is an area where God is doing some serious renovation in my life. He started showing me a few years ago how damaging passive aggressiveness is and has mostly cleansed my life of it. But I still struggle with passiveness quite a bit! I'm so thankful for God's grace.

The amazing thing that I've learned is that relationships don't have to be that way.  I don't have to go around wondering what people mean by what they say (whether or not they expect me to). Or trying to decode the hidden meaning behind their words and actions. And I don't have to communicate that way either. It's so exhausting. 

God doesn't want that for my relationships. Every scripture about how I should be interacting with others is evidence of that. He wants us to be kind to one another. Not just to each other's faces but even behind their backs. 

Passive aggressiveness, gossip and backbiting damage relationships. Not speaking up when I need something and then complaining because I don't get it is damaging to relationships. Telling things that aren't mine to tell is damaging to relationships. Wearing a mask is damaging to relationships.

All of this relationship damage impairs the body of Christ. Can you imagine if my physical brain decided that it didn't need to communicate openly with the rest of my body? Unfortunately a lot of people don't have to imagine, they've witnessed it.

The thing is, I don't have to live this way. The body of Christ doesn't have to function this way. The change starts with me. 

What if I was honest? What if I just loved people for real? What if I were as kind about you to Tom, Dick and Harry as I am to your face? What if when I need something I just ask for it? What if I forgive as God has forgiven me? What if I just shut my mouth instead of telling your story? What if when you do something to offend me, I just let you know? And when I've offended you I just ask for forgiveness instead of excusing and defending?

What if we were all safe people? 

I don't know, that sounds pretty awesome to me.

Ephesians 4:17-32
Matthew 5:37

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