When I was growing up, I was taught to deal with problems using emotional force.
When I saw emotional force, I mean control through anger, intimidation, threats, all these things. It was the way of my family. Of course, there’s never a healthy positive outcome in that. There’s wounded people and broken hearts in that. Broken relationships, unforgiveness, bitterness and judgment.
It’s actually the way of a 12-year-old bully. They have no legitimate authority. They have no real power, so when a 12-year-old is hurt, they go to school and bully other 12-year-olds around them. Maybe they are learning that at home. They’re learning it somewhere.
I’m finding that a lot of adults today are acting like 12-year-old bullies.
Today, I know I’m either part of the problem or part of the solution, and there is no solution in bullying. The truth is, God has given me authority over my life. I get authority over my thoughts, attitudes, words, habits, and behaviors.
So I’ve got to break the habit of reacting instead of responding. When I see a conflict in my life that I’m trying to fix, manage, or control, what I really need to do is learn new tools.
It’s a learning opportunity. I get to either learn or get stuck. Those are my options.
There is a better way. There are ways of peace, kindness, gentleness, and overcoming bad things with good.
The bottom line is, above all, I still have to guard my heart, my thoughts and my attitudes, because there is absolutely no clarity in bad attitudes and negative thoughts. There is no solution in that. In relationships, you can’t solve problems with nothing but bullying, demeaning, fighting, anger, aggression, threats, controlling behavior.
But there are solutions in peace, reconciliation, and honoring the one in front of us. In being able to hear what they’re saying. In looking for the areas in common and to focus not on the people but the issue, and not tear the people apart but focus on the issue and be able, in wisdom, to find a solution, because it’s there.
That’s why, above all, we have to guide our thoughts and our attitudes. Our attitudes blind us to the solutions that are right in front of us. The accusing and blaming and finger-pointing blinds us to the answers that we all carry if we are willing to get the debris out of our mind. We were never meant to function in negativity or abuse or bullying. We were never created to function that way, and it creates nothing but disfunction.
Today is a new day. I get to choose to learn new tools, to learn a new way. And if it’s not peaceful, kind, gentle, pure, right-minded thinking, I have to give up the idea that fighting will bring solutions.
It never has and it never will.