Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The "Bulldozer"

If you've read some of my previous posts, you've probably caught on to the fact that my youngest child, Juliette, is Little Miss Aggressive times ten. She takes what she wants and if she can't, she'll make our lives miserable until either we give it to her or she moves on to something else. She’s quite forceful in her attempts and will run anyone of us over to get at whatever it is that her little heart desires. I've seen her shove my three-year-old on the floor in her determination to take what she wants --and it doesn’t even phase her that he’s hurt. As I observe this personality trait she’s exhibiting, I realize that I am the exact same way. It must really frustrate those around me at times.

Isn’t it amazing how our kids can work like a mirror to us? They help expose parts of us that we wouldn’t otherwise notice. Seeing a character trait in someone who isn’t related to us is easy to brush-off and judge, but seeing it through our own flesh and blood presents us with a pretty good mirror into who we are. God uses our children and other family members to reveal the good, the bad and the ugly. What we do with it depends on whether we really want to grow or not.

When I want to know something, I can be quite aggressive in finding out the answer. I hate to be told that I don’t need to know something. The mere idea that someone should decide for me what I am entitled to understand gets under my skin like a bad pimple. Now, I justify my pursuit of knowledge, overlooking everyone else, by focusing on Bible verses that encourage understanding. But if we’re being frank here, I think I go way past the Biblical idea of understanding more often that I want to admit. Ultimately, He just wants me to sit back and give Him control of my life.

Like a bulldozer, I flatten out anything and everything that stands in my in order to wrap my mind around something. And I feel the need to constantly reiterate that my motives are pure and that I just need to make sense of things in my head, and perhaps they are for the most part. But I’m beginning to see that there are times where the Lord wants me to allow Him to bring those things to me. Retraining my mind to wait when I know I don’t HAVE to presents a huge challenge for me, but it’s becoming more and more obvious that I have to learn to do so. It’s just another area of my life where a better sense of balance is needed.

Lately, I've searched for answers surrounding my husband's "misperception" of me in my need to understand. As I begin to put the pieces together, everything seems to point back to my aggressive nature. Instead of taking the gentle approach necessary with understanding, I reach out and take it. I, like Juliette, shove him over (figuratively) and take what I want to know. And if my viewpoint is different, I throw it at him in a way that it lands on him and squashes him flat like something out of a cartoon.

I read an article several weeks ago about how we often take what we want instead of waiting on God to bless us, as He truly wants to. We often think that we’re entitled and based purely on our determination, and we go get it. We don’t ask Him what he wants and we don’t wait on Him to bless us. We fail to consult Him about His will, nor do we typically wait on Him to carry out His will. That amounts to nothing more than a lack of faith.

Sure, there’s nothing wrong with pursuit and understanding, but if it means being forceful and overbearing to those we love we miss the whole point. If it means we aren’t developing a greater faith and dying to self by learning patience, we’re missing an opportunity for spiritual growth.

Another thing I’ve come to learn is that if someone doesn’t want to help us understand, they are struggling with their own issues—so we have to give them room to get over themselves while we get over our own. Offering a little patience is one of the best ways to keep the peace although we can gently push for better understanding at the same time. I’ve recently come to understand that I make someone else’s issue become mine when I stress and over think their issues despite their failure to be more open and honest with me. It’s not worth a second thought if you have to “assume”. Assuming never took anyone to any great places, nor did over-thinking.

As we try to put ourselves aside for His sake, we battle the flesh even more so than non believers. The point is…we battle, we struggle, and we aim to serve Him even when we fall flat on our faces. And I fall flat on mine regularly. But just like any other relationship, perseverance is the ultimate proof of love. Perseverance IS dedication.

I’m convicted about my aggression, although a worldly view would praise it. Learning to put my aggression aside and wait on Him to provide what I need isn’t easy, but it’s critical to my spiritual growth. Do you struggle with aggression? How does it hinder you from becoming more in Him who seeks to bless you?

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