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Less Contentious – More Contender

March 19, 2014

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You know the type?  Maybe you are related to or even married to this?  Maybe you’ve spent your life either avoiding them or dying to make them happy?

What type?

Those people who don’t recognize boundaries or even care about anyone but themselves and their own situations. The people who smile and nod at your quiet statements like:

“I really don’t like to spend evenings away from the family, it’s our quality time.”

“I can’t add another thing to my life right now, my margins are pretty tight.”

“I really prefer to not meet alone with men.  Can we meet at Starbucks instead?”

They smile, nod, then make it their life’s mission to shatter any perimeter of self-determination as though your carefully crafted edges are made of spun sugar.

They are the ones who “bring you something” when you are sick and spend 45 minutes talking about themselves and their own issues while you slowly wither and die on the couch trying to not snot all over yourself or them.

They are the ones who have all the time in the world to talk on the phone about their own issues but no time at all to talk about yours.

They make me angry in a deep and primal place that makes me uncomfortable and more than a little ashamed to admit.

It will fester until I reach a breaking point and am tempted to begin acting on with defiance and resentful pettiness.

Becoming contentious.   Argumentative.  Frustrated.  About as delightful as an overloaded donkey.


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That. That is me.

Here’s what I want to do:

I want to make them feel the personal trespass they have imposed on my spirit.

I want to make them feel remorse and repent for their actions toward me.

I want them to pay for their imposition on me.

And then, frankly, it’s all about me deciding what they need.

Should I stick around and stay the Ever Loving Doormat?

Nope.   Being a willing partner to a diseased relationship is just as much as about me being unhealthy as it is about the other person being incapable of reciprocal, mutually beneficial,  interaction.

Sometimes this alliances built on sand need to die a fabulous, horrible, flaming death before they can rise from the dust and ashes brand new.

Here’s where I need to grow.  See, Neither of us can be the flame or the one wielding the sword.  I don’t know the heart, only the actions.  I can’t make the lame or wile excuses and justifications fall as just so many diversions from truth.

There is only One Contender who will do battle for us against those who need His loving discipline.

One of the most beautiful truths is that God contends for both of us while defending both of us at the same time.

Mind. Blown.

So, when I think about the boundary breakers and the selfish, I can’t help but recognize they need a Contender for their identity as much as I do.

No one gets a free pass for angry, abusive behavior.  We are all adults here and saying someone is “clueless” or “young” only works a few times before their personal rationalizing and makeshift blaming gets old. There will come a time, for all of us, when excuses are clearly revealed for the paper tigers they really are.

An unwillingness to repent is all too often revealed as arrogance demanding the world changes to suit you regardless of who is hurt or how many lie bleeding in your wake.

For those hurt by the brazenly selfish and wounded by the unrepentant, I have this to say to you.

There is a Mighty Warrior who can defend you.   There is someone who loves you, who will shelter you.  One who recognizes the fragility of your newly formed boundaries, or the need for overgrown gardens to be carefully tended. 

He is your Salvation.

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