People make a lot of very bad decisions. I am definitely part of that group. This amazing thing I have learned however is that our actions don’t define us. They may make us look a certain way to others, but inside we are the person God created us to be.
The hardest thing to do when someone is making very bad decisions is to be able to focus on that inner person and not the behaviours. Doing this however, is imperative to helping the other person make better decisions.
Jesus did this when he told Simon he was changing his name to Peter – rock. Peter was not a rock at that point, he was in fact not long from denying Christ three times (not at all rock like behaviour, more like spineless jellyfish). But Jesus knew who Peter was created to be and He spoke that over him.
We have to see those strong values and characteristics God gave a person and speak those about, over, and into other people EVEN, ESPECIALLY when they are not exibiting those characteristics.
I need to be reminded of who I really am at my greatest points of weakness. We were created to be in community for this exact purpose. No you don’t have to go to church to be a Christian but the point is that we build each other up. Church is a place of weak and hurting individuals who must refocus and remind each other of who created us and how He created us.
So when I want to give up on someone because I am just done, my amazing husband reminds me of my value of compassion and encourages me to keep trying. Giving up is not who I was created to be, but it is tempting and easier. That loving reminder from someone who knows me, knows Christ and helps me refocus is imperative to my walk of faith.
It’s also helpful when someone has hurt you or who is making horrible decisions, that this isn’t who they really are. They may be so lost they have no idea who they are. Tom Brooks is an incredible counsellor who helped me identify my core values so I could make sure my decisions aligned with those. When my decisions don’t line up I get lost, but when they do I am a stronger person.
If you don’t know who you are and what your value are make time to do that. Tom has a fantastic method that takes 15 minutes and it’s accurate. Then look at your decisions and see where they lined up and where they didn’t. This is key to moving forward in a healthy direction.
Find people who will love you when you make ugly decisions – because they will come. Be in community with others and remember that other people are lost and not acting who they were created to be at times either. Forgive often because we need to be forgiven.