Archive for the ‘Mean people’ Category

No One Gets Away with Anything

January 26, 2016

But don’t be afraid of those who threaten you.  For the time is coming when the truth will be revealed; their secret plots will become public knowledge.  Matthew 10:26

In today’s culture, anyone who is at all open about their faith gets harassed sometimes by some people, and at times it seems the bullying occurs a lot of the time by a lot of people. Bullies usually aren’t open about what they are doing.  They harass others outside of the public eye.  They gossip, lie, slander, ruin reputations, start rumors, etc.  They do anything they can to diminish their prey, and do it without looking bad themselves.  If they can take your job, your position, your good name or your peace, they will try to do it, and very slyly and secretly.   But God says, do not fear.  He will one day see that justice is done.  They will be exposed for who they are and truth will be known.  Do not be afraid. God has your back.  Nothing ever goes on without His knowledge.  He knows those who are His, and He will never let this go so far as to defeat His plans and purposes for those He loves.  Again, do not be afraid.

 

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Mean People

December 26, 2015

Holidays often include visits with family members we don’t see most of the year.  There is sometimes a reason we don’t see these people very often.  In every family there seems to be a person or two who creates drama by saying or asking something outrageous, which hurts or embarrasses others.  They will then often protest:  “I didn’t mean to offend, or I didn’t mean to hurt anybody.”  We are left shaking our heads, and often avoiding that person ourselves, unless it is unavoidable.  And unavoidable interaction is often the case at holiday time.

Why do people do these mean things?  In mental health circles, there is a proverb that says “Hurt people hurt people”.  There is so much truth in that.  Upon deeper reflection, people who throw barbs, embarrass others or create dramas are usually thoroughly miserable themselves.  Whatever the cause of their misery–feelings of inferiority, social awkwardness, failed relationships, jealousy, etc, they try to make others feel their pain.  They will usually pick on the person who they feel got unfair lucky breaks in life, the one who appears confident, the one who appears happy etc.  They feel pain and don’t believe others understand how much they are hurting. So they will do something to try to cast that pain onto someone else.  It may be almost completely unconscious but by their words and actions, they are sending the message “You want to feel what I feel?  I’ll let you have some of my pain.”

Knowing this may help keep us from responding in kind–biting back so to speak, but what can we do about it?  We can show grace.  Its perfectly ok to say “That’s a hurtful thing to say.”  or “What kind of a question is that?”  It lets the person know we’re on to them, and dissipates some of the shock in the room.  But beyond that, we can show grace.  If we understand the source of the misery, there might be something we can do to alleviate it, but this must be done privately.  We don’t want to throw gasoline on fire by embarrassing the person publicly–even though they are doing that to others.  We might get them to talk by taking them aside and asking “what’s going on.”  We might let them know we understand and sympathize if we know something has just happened  (a recent broken relationship, job loss or the like).   If this is a person who is just chronically mean, then we have a deeper problem, and the only thing we can do is control our own reactions.  Calm, reasonable reactions let the person know we give them the dignity of being able to choose to be reasonable themselves.  We are telling them we separate their behavior from who they are and we believe and expect the deeper goodness to come forward.  Oftentimes people will try to live up to the expectations of someone who is kindly toward them and treats them with grace.  All of this is hard, hard, hard–especially when someone we love or even ourselves are the target of the attacks.  But we want to be consistent in our calm, kind, graceful reactions.  After all, we want to live up to our own expectations that the goodness God has placed in our own souls will be what rises to the top.