There is no shortage of books, blogs and sermons on relationships. As Gary Smalley says, “Life is relationships. The rest is just details.” Unless we become hermits, we have to relate to people. Like me, you probably have your good days and your bad days, and like me, you probably have certain buttons that, when pushed, set off an ugly cycle.
I have been attempting to figure out why I have certain buttons. I don’t like the way I respond when these are pushed and so I set about reading the above-mentioned books, blogs and sermons. I found a lot of good insight and thoughts but I was still not satisfied that my particular buttons were being addressed. I am a contemplative person by nature who finds comfort in prayerful thought. I also find much comfort in praying “The Lord’s prayer”. While praying through this prayer and giving myself to prayerful consideration of “my buttons”, here is what came to my heart:
It all comes down to pride. My buttons are pushed, my pride is hurt and I spring into action.
Here are three “repents” that will help us overcome destructive pride and build better relationships:
- Hallowed be thy name. When trying to justify our actions, we value our own reputation above the reputation of God. We do not reflect the holiness of God and the “hollowed-ness” of His name above our name. For this we need to repent.
- Thy Kingdom come. In defending our honor and upholding our rights, it is our own kingdom we are advancing. If Jesus is truly our Lord and King, then His kingdom must come in any situation, not our Kingdom. For this we need to repent.
- Thy will be done. In any button-pushing scenario, the parties involved are attempting to have their way. By demanding our own rights or giving in to the other person’s demands for their rights, we make both ourself and the other person big and God small. Oh, how my heart aches that we do this. For this we need to repent.
When our buttons are pushed and before we open our mouth, we need to ask:
- Is what we say and do going to reflect the holiness of the Father who has adopted us and whose name we carry?
- Will we be advancing God’s heavenly kingdom or are we attempting a coup and pushing forward the agenda of our own kingdom?
- Are we making every effort to do the will of the Father, not our will nor that of the other person involved?
- Is there any way in which we are making God small and people big?
Repent: feel or express sincere regret or remorse about one’s wrongdoing or sin
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. – Hebrews 12:1-2