I think it is interesting how we construct defenses.
We say, “What others think don’t matter; only what God thinks matters.” Yada, yada.
Truth is it does matter what people think. We all want to be well thought of, approved of others. It matters what the employer or supervisor thinks, what the professor thinks, what that person we admire or crush on thinks, what our spouse and children think, what the person who shows indifference, disrespect, insensitivity towards us thinks. If it didn’t matter, we would not need to respond to it, have it dictate our behavior or introspection.
It is toward people who we claim do not matter (but they do), that we throw out such disclaimer. Persons who exclude us, don’t consider us, disregard or ignore us. The ‘haters’, persons who do not support or celebrate us, do not condone our behavior, or laud our every endeavor. It is of those people that we say, it doesn’t matter, I don’t care. But the attention and response to the opinion of those persons is a clear indicator that we do indeed care.
I guess this interests me because I relate to it so well. I notice sarcastic graphics and posts surface in the FB TL quite often raising the walls of defense. When I see them, I think – the time and attention given to the things and people who do not matter is really amusing. The constant lashing out or buffering from things that do not matter … Why? Because they do. The responses are erected like cement but really have a soft clay base needing the Refiner’s fire.
What we really need to pay attention to is why, why a response. The question to ask, ‘What is it in me, my inward sensibility that makes me respond and defend against the offenses of people and things that ‘do not matter’?’ Until we answer that question, we will continue to falsely accuse others of what is lacking within ourselves.
Growth and maturity becomes more evident within ourselves when we accept responsibility for who we are, where we need to grow, where we need to change and then do the necessary work to become that person. A person who is not always on defense, but one of a self-awareness that is nurturing and healthy, one who gives light, life and love from a transformed heart, mind and essence that is renewed daily by the love of God.
When we go to God with the broken pieces of ourselves, He really does put them back together. We must give Him ALL the pieces, confess our heart and He promises, “Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.” ~ Ezekiel 36:26