Strengthening the Soul (7)
What holds you back?
What holds you back from being the kind of person that God has called you to be either as a single or as a married person?
What holds some of us back is our own immaturity. We get stuck in particular patterns of immature behavior. Some of these patterns include:
1. Seeing the problems in my life as someone else’s responsibility.
Immature people spend a lot of energy blaming, reacting, and projecting.
“This is your fault.”
“If it wasn’t for _________, I would be really doing well.”
“It’s not my fault, if you had been through everything I’ve experienced in this marriage, you would have done the same thing.”
“This is my wife’s fault. If she would just act the way she should, we would not have these problems.”
2. Using manipulation to make things happen.
Perhaps you have heard someone say “It is easier to ask forgiveness than permission.” I once heard a minister brag at a conference that he lived by this mantra. Now think about the implication of this. This person doesn’t want to go through the process of getting permission, so he does what he wants, assuming that the other party will forgive. This is nothing less than raw manipulation.
Do we want our children to live like this in our home? “It is easier to ask Dad’s forgiveness than his permission so I took his car once he began his nap.” Or, “It is easier to ask mom’s forgiveness than her permission, so I took some money from her purse and later on apologized.” Is this the way we want our children to behave?
3. Saying whatever might enable me to get what I want.
Some people will say whatever is convenient in order to get what they want. They decide what they will say on the basis of convenience rather than truth. “No, I just made up that story about last week’s sale. I thought it might help my presentation.” Consider these examples:
“Just call in sick.” (When you are not sick.)
“Just tell them that you have to go to a funeral.” (When there is no funeral.)
“Just tell them that you don’t have any money.” (When you have $20 in your wallet.)
“Just pad the numbers on your presentation. Then they will really want to buy it.” (Not being entirely honest.)
“Just tell her that you had to work late.” (While you do something that will only damage any future honesty within your marriage.)
Our own immaturity often reflects our self-centeredness and our stubborn refusal to take responsibility for our lives. Some of us are stuck in patterns of immaturity. Instead of growing as authentic, godly men and women, we waste valuable energy trying to maintain control and avoid responsibility.
What is one sign of immaturity that you sometimes see in others? Do you have an example of how you have addressed an issue of immaturity in your own life?