Un-doing the Damage

December 9, 2010 at 8:22 pm (More than Mediocre) (, , , , )

Since it’s just us here, I’m going to get right down to the dirty truth.  I struggle daily with an awful disease.  A disease that eats away at my mind and attempts to rob me of all things good.  The disease of perfectionism, the enemy of peace, enslaves all who entertain it.  And hard as I try not to, I definitely entertain it!

I often tease my parents, blaming the two of them for my perfectionistic tendencies.  You see, my brothers and I are actually the offspring of  “Superman” and “Wonder Woman.”  Both of my parents are amazing individuals, unbelievably hard-working over-achievers who never, ever quit.  They do things right.  No shortcuts.  No exceptions.  You can always count on them because they always, ALWAYS come through.  Wonder Woman never sleeps and Superman never complains.  I grew up in that atmosphere, so I’ve never known anything different.  When you have super parents, you can’t help but to want to be super.   And when you have your own kids, you naturally want them to be super, too!   

Well, it didn’t take me too long to realize that my kids weren’t the slightest bit super.  They didn’t even come close to meeting my “super” standard.  At first, I overlooked their flaws and encouraged them to strive for better.  (Like a normal parent) But when the days of falling short turned into months and then years, I couldn’t help but to focus on their shortcomings.   Each time they didn’t rise to meet my standard, I valued them a little less.  I certainly didn’t realize that I was doing it at the time, but I was.  Consequently, they valued themselves a little less each time as well.  And unlike their perfectionist of a mother, they quit trying to meet the standard altogether.  I pushed harder.  They resisted.  The cycle continued until I ended up with a couple of broken kids-my personal view of them expressed through my own mouth causing all the damage!

Most of you know that God has been using the teachings of His servant, John Paul Jackson, to totally transform me from the inside out.  Back in July of this year, my husband, BJ, and I had the opportunity to attend John Paul’s Art of Hearing God training course.  We went desiring to hear the Lord’s voice and boy did He ever speak!  Just not at all about what I expected Him to!  One of the first teachings John Paul shared with us was on the Law of Observation.  This law basically proves that what you look at will conform to the way that you look at it.  In other words, how I perceive someone is how they will become when they are around me.  And if they are around me long enough, they will form a habit of being what I perceive them to be.  Whoaaaaa!  That’s a real problem right there!  You mean what I say today and how I view my children right now will affect who and what they become later on down the road of life as adults?  NOT good.   I immediately realized that I was setting my kids up for a lifetime of failure, and I knew that something had to change FAST! 

It makes sense if you think about it.  If we continually encourage good character traits in an individual, tell them how valuable they are, and remind them of what they are going to become one day, that person will strive to self fulfill those words.  On the other hand, if we constantly tell someone that they’re lazy, ignorant, ugly, or worthless- they will eventually begin to believe it -whether it’s true or not-and self fulfill those words.  In fact, we don’t even have to verbalize it.  Our opinion of others often leaks out through expression, tone, and body language.  So basically, we can take part in holding others back from their destiny simply by the way we view them.  Wow!  Deep stuff, huh?  How can we avoid that mistake?  After all, we say the things we say for a reason!  We generally pass judgments on others based on past experiences with them. 

Well, John Paul teaches that we need to change the way that we perceive others.  I explained it to my kids as needing to have “God Vision.”  We need to see others in light of where God is taking them – not where they are today.  That rotten good for nothing husband will continue to be a rotten good for nothing husband until you change your thought process.   That nag of a wife will go to her grave as a nag unless you perceive her to be something else.  That awful gossip won’t find the strength to change until she sees that you believe she’s better than that. 

Only with this “God Vision” can I now say that God has an incredible plan for my unbelievably strong-willed yet ultra sensitive son.   With all of the drive and tenacity and passion of a grown adult crammed into his little body, he lacks knowledge and wisdom and life experience.  But, in time, when he develops the discipline and character he lacks and joins forces with his destiny, He WILL accomplish great things.  And God must have something truly wonderful in store for my tough as nails outspoken little fireball of a daughter-for He has created her so incredibly strong!  What battles she’ll one day fight…and win!  Once we channel her passion and creativity for His purposes, she will set the paths of all those she encounters ablaze for Him!

People aren’t perfect but they can be perfected as long as we don’t hold them back.  Our words, our attitudes, our perception of others-these all have the power to speak life or death.  I don’t know about you, but I’m really tired of killing destinies-including those of people I don’t even know!  I want to be one who helps drive people to reach their calling and fulfill their God-given purpose in life-not watch it pass by.  Though a completely foreign concept at first, I’ve found that “God Vision” gets easier the more you utilize it.   So one word, one thought, one expression, one display of body language at a time, I’m un-doing the damage that I’ve created in so many lives over the years.

Death and life are in the power of the tongue. ~Proverbs 18:21

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