Have you ever noticed that we treat our friends, family and coworkers and even people at church, differently, depending on which group we are around? Have you ever noticed how differently you treat certain people depending on where you are? Have you caught yourself saying or doing certain stuff you shouldn’t? Have you caught yourself acting certain ways around your family one day and then acting different another? Have you wanted to say things to your co-workers that you know you might regret?
At work you do your best most days to not show an ounce of ugly in your demeanor. You smile around those you can’t stand, or those you have problems with. Around your friends, you often talk horrid and gossip about anything and everything, not to mention everyone. In church you can talk to the talk, but are you really walking the walk as a true Christian? The truth is, that absolutely none of us on Earth are perfect. Only God is completely perfect. We all realize time and time again, that, we all fall short of the mark. We as human beings, fill our minds and heads with filth and our words aren’t always Godly either.
Around our families, we often let our most ugly side show without a second thought. We treat them the worst because we expect them to automatically forgive us, no matter how we treat them or how we react to them. We are then being expected to react the same way towards them, whenever they do something bad or say something bad to us. We expect them, and they expect us, to accept what goes on and never say how we truly feel about the way we are being treated by them. No one in our families really expects a fight. We all expect everyone to just take attitudes and outbursts that happen with a grain of salt.
Newsflash- not everyone can take their family members angry outbursts or irrational thoughts toward them. One day I guarantee you, somebody will go too far in their words towards you, or you will go too far in your harsh words towards them. Then one of you, will not be able to hold back, and you will finally let all the anger that you’d been holding in, come to the surface. You’ll snap.  It is not a good feeling to let anyone, especially those you love, see your dark side. Granted, everyone has that dark side and their breaking point with that darkness inside of them.  God blesses us though because we get through some of our lives without having to face it. Remember, once the words and the actions are out, we can’t take them back, we can only ask for forgiveness.
As much as we hate it when our families ridicule , critique and attack us, we also can’t keep treating our families like dirt and then expect them to keep letting it happen. Vice versa for them- they can’t expect us to not get even a little upset after something goes down, no matter how stupid the argument might be. The important thing is to remember to take time away from them and cool down before returning to talk about the situation. As hard as it is, try to react with calmness towards the other person.
Another newsflash- if God had that attitude with us, we’d all be pretty much damned into Hell for our words and actions towards our families and any other group that we are in. If God felt the way we do towards others or if He acted the way we act, none of us would be saved by the cross. He would have just said “ok, if that’s the way you feel, then I’m leaving.”
The biggest question that has been on my mind recently, is how come we treat our families so much worse than any other group of people? We treat them horribly and we constantly get away with it. Why? Think about it- these are our family members, the people we are supposed to love no matter what, unconditionally. So how come we mess up so badly in that area? Yes, it is because of sin, and because of Satan messing with us. Because of sin, this world will never be perfect. But the other reality of it is, we must keep looking at ourselves and know that we are the ones causing the problems in our families and must work to change ourselves. It doesn’t matter if the other people who hurt us, don’t change. What matters is how react to them and how we change within ourselves. The change must happen for us and within us first. Once we look inside ourselves and ask for help from God, He can help us change our outlook in dealing with people, especially within our families. Only then can we start to notice a change in how we speak and act around others. We also must be willing to change ourselves for the better too. We can’t expect others to change if we don’t change our attitudes too.  The change starts with us. Be the bigger person and make a better life for yourself and the people around you. Be able to see the areas where you need to make changes and be willing to try them. It may not always be easy, but with God there is nothing you can’t do.
Ask yourself and reexamine yourself and ask what could be causing the tension with people in your different circles and especially in your family. We all don’t always like taking responsibility for the things that have happened, and it is sometimes even more painful to be the bigger person and make a sincere apology to the person we hurt. We want to always think that the other person that we got into an argument with, will come to us first begging for forgiveness, instead of us having to suck it up and ask them for forgiveness. More than that, we often think that they should come to us first, especially if the argument was started by us, because our pride tells us that we didn’t do anything wrong.  We always want to let our anger, not to mention our own egos do the talking and shouting and say that we are right, and the other person is wrong. That is normally how the arguments start, because of different opinions about things.
It takes a lot of guts to be the first person to tell someone else that you’re sorry for how you acted. It also takes integrity to admit that you were the one that was wrong. Pray about the things that are going on in your family and with anyone else in your life. Ask God to help calm anything you might be feeling and for you to figure out how to control your tongue even when it’s difficult and even when it’s the very last thing you want to do in that moment.
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