Connection Vs. Control
In college, I didn’t talk to my roommate and best friend for a month because I didn’t like who she was dating. I thought he wasn’t mature enough for her.
When I use passive-aggressive behavior, it’s because I think my actions are right and yours are wrong. I use it as a means of grasping (perceived) control. It’s a way to send subtle messages about a behavior I want you to change. In short, I use passive-aggressive behavior when I allow my pride and selfishness to take center stage.
Pride and selfishness are issues I struggle with every day, due to my sinful nature. I have been struggling every single day this week with feeling hard-hearted towards a close friend of mine. Our relationship has been strained for several months. My hard heart slips into passive-aggressive actions towards her. My anger increases as my compassion decreases.
Our sinful nature comes with us to our Small Group. People in small groups are creating and sustaining a connection between hearts. If that sounds undesirable, it’s probably because your heart has been hurt before. Why bother to move towards relationships, towards the mess that always comes with people getting connected?
Because connection through community is what Jesus calls us to. It’s what we are made for. Again and again Jesus calls us to forgive and move towards each other in relationship. That often involves dying to our own pleasures and preferences.
Sometimes dying to my own desires looks a lot like picking up the phone instead of communicating my way. Often it means responding with grace and truth instead of responding with my natural passive-aggressive behavior.
My college best friend and her boyfriend got married and just celebrated 11 years together. As it turns out, I was the immature one. Happily we are all friends now. This is a picture of friendship and love that God created us to take part in.
The redhead in each of these pictures is the one who I didn’t speak to for a month.
Connection & Communication Architect