Happy Monday to you!
Tonight I want to discuss an issue that is relevant for many of us. Admitting that this problem exists in our relationships may be very uncomfortable. However, it is important that we acknowledge the problem and find ways to nip it in the bud.
Each and everyone of us is in a relationship. We have family, friends, co-workers, etc. At some point, I am sure you have struggled with being overly critical of the people closest to you. You may find yourself nitpicking about the lack of help you receive from your spouse in raising your children. You may be guilty of nagging your children about the amount of effort they put into completing their chores. You may complain about your friends’ lack of support of your dreams and life goals. After a while, thinking negatively about your loved ones becomes the norm. You no longer see a problem with voicing your disappointments. You spend less and less time acknowledging the positive characteristics within your family and friends. The negative thoughts can create animosity in your relationships and lead to division. Your family and friends may feel the hostility or tension and not understand why you are speaking or behaving towards them negatively. Of course, it is good to be honest with your loved ones about the things they do that upset you. However, it is equally important that you recognize the difference between constructive criticism and unnecessary judgment.
Unnecessary judgments can do more to destroy your relationships than to heal them. People change when they are ready. Glaring looks, snarky comments, and passive aggressiveness will never solve your relationship problems. Once you share your grievances with your loved ones, show grace and mercy and let God do the rest. If you are honest with yourself, there are things about you that are annoying and frustrating. You expect forgiveness and understanding from your family, friends, supervisors, etc. Therefore, it is vital that you forgive and display compassion. Your extension of grace and mercy may not result in a rapid transformation in your relationships; nevertheless, grace produces more positive and lasting results than continuous judgment.
Begin to look for the beauty in your family and friends. Praise the good works and quality efforts of your spouse, your children, and your co-workers. Make mental note of the times where you were forgiven for a repeated offense. Acknowledge the efforts your loved ones make to improve your relationships. Commit to communicating from a place of love and acting from a place of respect and humility.