Last week we talked about using our wrath will accomplish our agenda with the people we love and I’ve been pondering all the subtle ways we do that. We show our displeasure to in hopes they will adjust their behavior to suit us. We compliment clothes we consider appropriate and say nothing about or criticize the ones we disapprove of. We talk about how we’ve never missed a day of work in ten years when someone’s around who we think is flaky. We don’t ask certain people to be up front at church because they don’t make choices we approve of. We slide our attention away from people who’s messy emotions make us uncomfortable. When someone’s honest about feeling sad or disappointed, we push them towards their silver lining as if positivity could cure heartache. They leave the conversation knowing we don’t want to hear from them unless things are going well.
There are so many ways we slap people’s wrists and tell them to get in line. I suppose at times, we’ve all become a negative, unrelenting dialogue in another person’s life, “You’re not making healthy enough choices…You should try this…Have you thought of that?…You just need to get started,” and it becomes the equivalent of me telling my kids, “Tuck your shirt in, sit up straighter, use your inside voice, throw your trash away, and for the last time, don’t touch things that don’t belong to you.”
When I sound like this, I don’t even like being in the same room as myself. Maya Angelou spoke about how important it is to light up when our kids enter the room. She said that if they hear a lot of correction, they will not know how wonderful they are. Already.
They are wonderful ALREADY. We are wonderful already. Not when we lose five to fifty pounds. Not when we finish our schooling goals. Not when we find the work that fulfills us. Not when we land the friendships we’ve always dreamed of. We are wonderful now.
If we could swallow this truth whole, I believe it would grow up inside us like a tree who’s branches eventually reach to every tip of us and then no part of us would feel the need to drive someone hard. We’d be able to zoom out and see how hard they’re trying.
For the Lord your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs. Zephania 3:17