I did a really horrible thing.
I’m serious. It was really bad. It was exactly the opposite of how I normally like to live my life, and as a result, I hurt someone. Chaos ensued — big, huge, teary-eyed drama. Too many people involved. Lots of hurt feelings. And in the middle of it all, I knew I had caused it. And I had to fix it.
And fix it I did. I chased down the person I’d hurt immediately, told her what I’d done (she had no idea it was me) and apologized. I explained that I had no good reason to do what I’d done (I didn’t — it was assholery, plain and simple). I asked her forgiveness.
And then it was up to me to receive that forgiveness. And let me tell you — that was totally freaking hard. I should probably say, that IS totally freaking hard, because it’s an ongoing process, probably for her as much as it is for me.
My friend and I spent a long time that night talking, and a little time after discussing how we were processing the lessons learned. For me, one of the big lessons (though certainly not the only one) is how my behavior in that relationship casts light on my relationship with myself, and my relationship with God. Do I act the way I want to be? Do I act the way I think God sees me? Or am I believing some other fool’s lie about who I really am?
Philippians 2:5 tells us that we should bring into our relationships the same mindset as Christ. But I wonder: if we were to look in a mirror, how many of us would see Jesus looking back?
I don’t even want to think about the hot mess that would be staring back at me — but it’s definitely not Jesus. At least, not most of the time. Most of the time, it’s someone a lot less humble, generous, and gracious than Jesus.
Denika Carothers is a coach, speaker and author who is passionate about family relationships, and she says that our relationships are a reflection of ourselves. Rocky relationship? That might mean you’ve got a rocky internal life — and it’s interfering with your ability to live out your life to its fullest potential.
The root of it all is not knowing WHO you are. When you don’t know who you are you give the world, and everyone in it, the power to define you.
I love this quote by Denika. It reminds me to remember who I am — loved by God, created in the image of God to do even greater things than Jesus did when he was here on earth. The question is, am I living that out? Or am I letting the world define me?
Denika will be speaking at The Whole Woman Summit in March, where she’ll be teaching us how we can be brave enough to face the person looking back at us in the mirror, and learn from her. We can use what we see there to create intentionally loving relationships instead of relationships that drain us, set us on edge, and are filled with animosity.
And maybe, after her talk, when I look in the mirror, I’ll see someone looking back who looks a lot more like a thirty-something, first century Jewish man from the Middle East, with blisters on his fingers, holes in his wrists, and a heart that burns for the world.
Each Friday for the next few months, I’ll be writing about one of the amazing women who are speaking at The Whole Woman Summit in March. These are women who are movers and shakers, Christian and not, who are doing very cool things in the world. The summit is all about the things that matter — MIND. BODY. SPIRIT. WORK. RELATIONSHIPS. JUSTICE. The summit is entirely online, and all registrants will receive video recordings of all sessions, so no worries if you miss any.
See you at the summit!
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