Previously I wrote about NOT trying to change our bad behaviors. That’s because our behavior is a natural outcome of several other factors (read more about that by clicking here). The important progression goes like this: Thoughts → Values → Attitudes → Behaviors.
The two areas we can address are our thoughts and attitudes. When it comes to interacting with other people, notice carefully the words Jesus said: “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Mark 12:31).
Jesus says that our thoughts about ourselves can limit our thoughts about others. If your thoughts are limited, your value on people and healthy relationships will slide. If those values drop, your attitude about others will begin to sour. And with those thoughts, values and attitude dropping, isn’t it natural to expect that you will struggle getting along with others?
So you must get this clear—
- God had a plan for you from before the beginning of time (Ephesians 2:10)
- God knit you together in your mother’s womb (Psalm 139:13-18)
- God put just the right gifts and talents in you to change the world (Romans 12:3-6; 1 Corinthians 12:4-7).
- God made you unique (you-nique!).
- You are a one-of-a-kind masterpiece!
Because you are you-nique, you hear and see the world uniquely, and you respond uniquely. You and I respond mostly by habit.
Habits are good when they are healthy. But unhealthy habits create assumptions and blind spots that can hinder our relationships.
To make new relationship habits requires three things:
- Knowledge (what do I need to do)
- Skill (how do I need to do it)
- Desire (I really want to make this change)
If you want to make some new communication habits, get knowledge from people who love you and from reading the Bible. Then read some books or attend some seminars that will give you new skills. Then combine those with your sincere desire to want to improve your relationship habits, and watch for great things to happen!
I am leading our church through a training on our communication styles. Please join us on Sunday as we learn how to better get along with others. I’d love for you to join us either in person or on our Periscope broadcast.